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Bar Admissions and the Law Schools, 33 Illinois Law Review 898 (1939)


In responding to the invitation of the editor of the Review that I express some thoughts and conclusions with reference to the subject of bar admissions in relation to the law schools, I desire to say at the outset that I have no thought of indulging in any wholesale condemnation of bar examination practices throughout the country. I do not feel they deserve such condemnation. As a matter of fact, I believe the bar examining committees as a whole are entitled to full and deserved credit for the definite, far-reaching, and striking improvement in standards for admission to the profession which has occurred in recent years. In the light of the innate conservatism of the bar, not to speak of the public, the progress appears truly remarkable, far beyond, as I venture to believe, what most of us expected in 1921, when the American Bar Association first took up its campaign for admission requirements. An atmosphere has been created and is now fostered which makes for the acceptance generally of high standards of capacity and character for the future lawyer. Such an atmosphere is a necessary prerequisite to any successful program of advancing standards. Since it exists, it is now possible to look forward to other steps designed to effectuate the objectives in view. Moreover, the integrity, loyalty, and persistent effort of the various state committees of bar examiners are things in which our profession can take justifiable pride. Their devotion to the ideal we have had in mind has been extraordinary. These facts we must recognize, even if we may believe the time to be now ripe for replacing many of the large and unwieldy committees of practicing lawyers with small compact boards of salaried professionals and for other important innovations now to be considered.

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Bar Admissions and the Law Schools, 33 Illinois Law Review 898 (1939)

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