- Associated Press - Saturday, August 5, 2017

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada has made it easier for aspiring lawyers to pass the state bar exam in response to a growing number of people failing the test.

The Nevada bar exam is notoriously one of the most difficult tests in the nation, but changes made by the state Supreme Court lowered the passing score and removed an essay topic, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported (https://bit.ly/2wv6xaA ) Tuesday.

“There is no easy answer,” said Rick Trachok, chairman of the Board of Bar Examiners and a member of the state Board of Regents. “That’s why we’re always looking at it. You want to be fair to the public, but we want to be fair to the examinees as well.”

The score for passing is now 138, down from 140.

The essay topic removed was about commercial paper. The court deemed the topic to be no longer relevant in today’s society.

Shea Billadeau, who began preparing for the exam in April after graduating from Brigham Young University, was delighted to learn he would not the essay question about paper.

“It’s not super common,” Billadeau said. “It’s based on very old law of people passing checks back and forth. It’s very strange.”

Kellye Testy, president and CEO of the Law School Admission Council, said some states such as Nevada are predicting lawyer shortages as baby boomers retire.

This problem is already evident in small towns in eastern Washington state, Testy said.

Attracting talent to rural areas has always been a problem, but it has been magnified by fewer students choosing to study law, she said.

“Careers in entrepreneurship, science, technology could be drowning out the message that we also need really bright people to go be lawyers, too,” Testy said. “Law is what sets the very basic structure for society and democracy to flourish.”


Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, https://www.lvrj.com

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