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‘Marginalized groups’ no longer required to pass the bar to practice law in Washington state

MARCH 21, 2024

Progressives in Washington state have decided that to become a lawyer there, you no longer need to pass the bar exam because it’s racist and classist.

The state Supreme Court issued two orders that authorize alternative pathways to licensing for attorneys.

“The exam ‘disproportionately and unnecessarily blocks marginalized groups from entering the practice of law’ and is ‘at best minimally effective for ensuring competent lawyers,’ the Bar Licensure Task Force determined,” Fox News reported.

“In addition to the racism and classism written into the test itself the time and financial costs of the test reinforce historical inequities in our profession,” the task force noted in February via its proposal for the change.

INSANITY! The Left is dismantling and dumbing down the country in the name of DEI! The Supreme Court of Washington ruled the Bar Exam is no longer needed to be an attorney. The decision was made because the bar exam “disproportionally blocks” marginalized groups! — LionHearted (@LionHearted76) March 20, 2024

The Bar Licensure Task Force was appointed by Washington’s Supreme Court in 2020. Its mandate was to study alternative ways to show competency for aspiring lawyers after pandemic-related modifications were implemented that “caused many to question the efficacy of the current exam,” the Washington Administrative Office of the Courts claimed.

“The goal was to improve trust in the legal profession, reduce barriers to entry into the legal field, and ‘advance the cause of diversity equity and inclusion,’ according to the bar task force,” Fox News wrote.

The court approved three alternative experience-based pathways to becoming an attorney rather than sitting for the bar exam.

Fox News listed the alternatives as follows:

  • Law school graduates can complete a six-month apprenticeship with an attorney and finish three state-approved courses.

  • Law students can graduate practice-ready by finishing 12 qualifying skills credits and 500 hours of work as a legal intern.

  • Finally, law clerks who don’t attend law school can become attorneys by completing standardized educational materials and tests under the guidance of a mentoring lawyer, in addition to 500 hours of work as a legal intern.

As if that wasn’t enough, the court also decreased the minimum score needed to pass the bar from 270 to 266. That was made permanent after being temporarily put in place during the pandemic.

“These recommendations come from a diverse body of lawyers in private and public practice, academics, and researchers who contributed immense insight, counterpoints, and research to get us where we are today,” Washington Supreme Court Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis asserted in a statement. “With these alternative pathways, we recognize that there are multiple ways to ensure a competent, licensed body of new attorneys who are so desperately needed around the state.”

Becoming an attorney in Washington now more closely resembles being an apprentice than a degreed, bar-determined lawyer. Unions are probably not far behind.

Just In: The State of Washington has just announced that the bar exam will no longer be required for an attorney to become licensed in the state of Washington. According to the state Supreme Court the exam hurts minorities. Wasn’t Don Lemon just telling Elon Musk that this… — Travis (@Travis_in_Flint) March 19, 2024

The Washington Examiner reports that the new avenues to becoming an attorney address the “serious legal deserts problem” in Washington and “help remedy the fairness and bias concerns with the traditional licensure,” according to Seattle University School of Law Dean Anthony Varona, who is the co-chair of the task force.

According to the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA), “The Washington State Bar Association operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court and exercises a governmental function authorized by the Washington Supreme Court to license and regulate the state’s more than 40,000 legal professionals, including lawyers, limited practice officers, and limited license legal technicians.”

Unsurprisingly, the biggest shortfall is with public defenders according to the Seattle Times. With a skyrocketing crime rate due to leftist policies that are soft on crime, it is no wonder they need more public defenders.

The media outlet is reporting that the state’s public defense system is “in danger of breaking down” from ongoing staffing shortages. That has resulted in defendants not being afforded an attorney and in some cases being dismissed without prosecution.

Standards are being lowered everywhere in society. You can see it and experience it daily now. Places that still focus on excellence are rare and stand out. — $8 Bartemy (@BartemyS) March 19, 2024

“A timeline has yet to be set for the change. So far, Washington is only the second state to officially approve alternatives to the bar, following Oregon, which is set to implement the change in May, according to the Administrative Office of the Courts,” Fox News noted.

“Several states are considering a similar move away from the bar, including California, Minnesota, Nevada and Utah,” the media outlet concluded.

California is also considering DEI as a prerequisite for expanding its licensing program that would help law students “avoid the heavy expense of preparing for the traditional bar exam — a burden that falls disproportionately on historically disadvantaged groups, including first-generation graduates, women, and candidates of color,” according to Reuters.

Users on X didn’t hold back over the development:

Who needs lawyers when we live in a lawless nation? — SkinnyFat Tony (@SkinnyfatTony) March 19, 2024
As long as you identify as an attorney, you’re good to go, and why not doctors too? The only test will be the game called ‘operation’. If you can get through with less than 5 buzzes, you’re a doctor. You will be every bit as much a doctor as fake doctor Jill Biden is. Next will… — Jericho (@JerichoXVI) March 20, 2024
Apparently it wasn’t required of a certain Supreme Court justice who thinks freedom of speech means you can speak freely or of a certain District Judge who thinks illegals have the right to own guns. This is ludicrous. — DMarie (@SaguaroSis) March 20, 2024
Radical activists infiltrating our judicial branch. Nice. — Joshua Walker (@RedsRepair95) March 19, 2024
As an attorney, this is very concerning and disturbing. — GunsnGolf (@gunsngolf) March 19, 2024
They don’t need lawyers because they don’t arrest criminals ‍♂️ — Digital_Assassin (@Net_Inquisitor) March 19, 2024
Think this will be bad? Wait until those lawyers become judges. ‍♂️ — GrumpyOldMan (@Jonatha62844030) March 19, 2024
Come to think of it, it shouldn’t make much of a difference to current status. — CJ9DELTA (@Cj9Delta) March 19, 2024

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