States Consider Uniting to Offer One Bar Exam

Move could save consumers money
By Jen Paton,  Newser User
Posted Nov 23, 2009 3:45 PM CST
A national bar or individual state bars: your outcome will be the same.   (

(Newser) – Good news for aspiring lawyers: State bar associations are considering adopting a national bar exam. The move would allow lawyers trying to find a job in a competitive market to practice in any state; consumers would be able to use one lawyer for cases that span state lines, potentially saving them money, reports USA Today. In addition, some hope a national test could lead to a more diverse bar thanks to the phasing out of potentially biased tests.

Missouri has already said it will adopt the uniform exam as early as 2010. Colorado, the District of Columbia, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and North Dakota are considering doing likewise. However, larger states like New York and California, as well as states with more "exclusive" exams, like Delaware, are holding back. A New York State Bar Examiners exec notes the change is "not something we take lightly...we have to study it."