In Support of Diploma Privilege for Oregon

legal regulation Jul 01, 2020

My letter to the Chief Justice of Oregon in support of granting Diploma Privilege to 2020 Law Graduates.

Chief Justice Walters:

I write in support of the Oregon Law School Deans’ letter requesting that the Court grant “Diploma Privilege” to permit recent law school graduates to begin legal practice without having to take the Bar Exam. I agree with the Deans’ analysis and, because you know I like to look at data, I want to add information regarding the effect of dwindling numbers of lawyers on Oregon’s Access to Justice crisis.

While the Bar Exam is ostensibly a tool for ensuring the quality of legal services in Oregon, its usefulness to that end is unproven by data. At the same time, we have strong evidence of the Access to Justice gap for low income Oregonians, and we know from the 2019 Civil Legal Needs Study that legal problems fall disproportionately on African American, Native American, Latinx, Asian American, and rural...

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