Below are the Baby Bar pass/fail rates created from the California State Bar’s website. These are the available statistics from 2007-2008. As can be seen, the pass rates for the Law Office Study Program prove the FYLSX is statistically far more difficult than the General bar Exam.
The First Year Law Student’s Exam is Harder than the Real Bar Exam?
Statistically, it’s way harder. I am an expert on the subject of reading for the law because I became a lawyer with no undergrad or law degree on the California State Bar Law Office Study Program. (“LOSP”). Because I am an expert, and think Kanye is a legit dude, I wanted to offer a few words of encouragement to this couple in their task.
Yes, if Kim is going to get through this, she is going to need the emotional support of her husband. You see, if she was single, she could spend the hours needed at the library and attending private tutoring necessary to pass the First Year Law Student’s Exam (“Baby Bar”). Being married makes it a lot harder to “do you” as they say.
In order to pass the Baby Bar, she has to become selfish with her time. She will have to be a lot like a warrior monk. Kim Kardashian West needs the understanding and emotional support of Kanye to get through this Herculean task.
Lucky for her, Kanye marches to the beat of his own drummer, just like her. My goal is to see that she passes the Baby and the Bar. Because if she does, she will encourage a whole new generation of free thinkers to become lawyers. In many ways, it would be so awesome to return to the Abraham Lincoln method.
Don’t Listen to Em Kim!
During my time on the Law Office Study Program, I was told by people with college degrees that I’d never pass the bar, let alone make any money. “How is a disabled Marine with no college gonna be a lawyer?” Lucky for me, my family and my new wife were very supportive. So I had my base!
You can do it Kim! If I did it, so can you.
Let this list inspire you:
Passed the Baby Bar with no undergrad,
Passed the General Bar Exam with no law degree.
Became a Certified Law Student and co-chaired 3 jury trials.
Befriended and studied under some of the most prominent lawyers in the country.
xterned for a prominent appellate justice at the Court of Appeal.
I even hung out with Kardashian-West’s late father’s co-counsel, Johnny Cochran at LAX. Johnny even signed my ” In a Nutshell “Remedies” book.
And to nail my detractors’ coffins shut, I became a highly successful personal injury and criminal defense lawyer. Now I run a successful law firm, volunteer time to consumer advocacy groups, assist disabled veterans in finding employment, and help teach less fortunate people how to pass the bar as a professor. How’s that Kim? You can do it!
Time to Get Working
Yesterday I wanted to blog about Kim Kardashian West’s new task. I was just too busy handling clients all day. You know, those clients all the college types said I would never have unless I went to college? Anyways, she sent shockwaves through both the legal and entertainment worlds yesterday by announcing her study towards the California bar. The reality star turned advocate plans a bar exam try in 2022 according to CNN.
Kardashian West benefits from a unique advantage in California’s legal licensing that allows individuals to take the bar exam should they meet several requirements. This path of reading the law is a time tested and trusted method towards becoming a Golden State attorney.
The star announced her plan during an interview with Vogue Magazine. Kardashian is studying as an apprentice towards the bar exam. With four years of law apprenticeship she can take the exam. She believes that her efforts improve the existing pushes for legal reform.
Her high profile partnership with President Trump is gaining significant traction both in the laws of the nation but also in the public eye. Go Kanye!
Reading the Law: How it Works
The interesting turn of events also highlights the importance of reading the law as a means to become an attorney. Once a popular practice that allowed Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln to become attorneys, California is one of only a handful of states that still use the revered tactic.
Such a path to the bar is a valuable insight to why attorneys that study for the bar before achieving their JD are often more successful. Kardashian said that she is interested in becoming an attorney as a means to help wrongfully imprisoned individuals.
Having worked on Habeus Corpus Petitions while reading for the law, I wholeheartedly support her in this goal. Many prisoners cannot afford a great lawyer. Kim’s celebrity could help guys like me raise money to still feed our kids and work on these tough cases!
Such a noble goal has already paid dividends. Through her advocacy, President Trump aided several wrongfully convicted people. The highest profile case was that of Alice Marie Johnson, as the New York Times reported.
Represents Legal Victories
Kanye West also aided Trump and Kardashian’s efforts, representing a major step towards criminal justice reform. In fact, President Trump named April 2019 the First Step Act month, as reported by FoxNews. Such a laudable effort highlights the President’s work with Congress to build a 21st century criminal justice system.
Such an effort between the White House and prominent entertainment figures is already a great success. Kardashian West and Kanye West’s alliance with President Trump may go down in legal history as a major accomplishment and start of a great trend towards fairer jurisprudence.
Considering Kim’s family history with the law the sky is the limit. Her father was a high profile criminal defense attorney. Kanye West is nearly legendary for his art and support of President Trump. Star power and now legal power fused into one for a cause larger than themselves.
Passing the bar is just one part of such a triumph. After all, considering the amazing work already accomplished over the last several years, by 2022 far more is on Kim K’s plate.
But passing the bar is not her mission. The mainstream press didn’t really discuss what she is facing. The Baby Bar has a much lower pas rate than the Bar. So it requires special help.
How Can Kim Pass the Baby Bar With no Law School?
It’s no walk in the park. When I took the Baby Bar, it had less than an 18% pass rate compared to the Bar’s 48% or so at the time. The Baby Bar is composed of contracts, torts and criminal law.
To Pass She will need:
PMBR CD roms, especially the series on contracts and criminal law.
BARBRI Large and Small Books (email me to learn more Kim.)
Remedies, contracts, torts and criminal law “In a Nutshell Series.”
Paul Pfau, guru tutor.
In addition to studying under a lawyer who teaches her real-world solutions to real-world problems, she needs an excellent Baby Bar teacher. Paul Pfau will help Kim develop a system to study for, and pass this problem-solving speed exam.
His issue clustering outlines and other materials are only part of it though. He is also a life coach. He is exactly what you need when it seems the whole world is against you.
I hope this helped. If anyone is interested in attending one of my live video seminars or listening to a LOSP podcast, reach out to me at Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC.
To close the justice gap, State Bar of California came up with the Civil Justice Strategies Task Force. This particular task force came into being to do proper analyses on what was causing justice gap. It had to perform evaluation of what role the profession of law was playing in coping with this crisis. It also had to get in contact with the organizations and individuals that have been working for closing the gap and see what methods they have applied and which of their methods were successful.
It also had to look into the efforts being made in other countries and states on the same matter. After taking all these steps the task force had to document an action plan that would define what would be needed to do in order to overcome the justice gap. Neil Thapar, the attorney of the staff at SELC got in touch with the personnel working on this task force to bring into their notice how Law Office Study Program in California could be improved for closing the justice gap. When asked to put points in the form of comments, SELC officials sent the comments that contained following points.
LOSP Should Be Better Known. SELC talked about how invisible the LOSP program. SELC has been in the industry for years and during these years it has recognized that most people have no idea or have never heard about LOSP. They don’t know that apprenticeship is an easy and more practical way of becoming a lawyer. When we look at the statistics we have to agree with the notion of SELC. This is why SELC has recommended State Bar to bring forth information about the program that is more visible to general public and use the platforms that are more easily accessible for people who are interested in becoming lawyers. SELC also gave recommendations on what method should be used to make this information easily available for people including dissemination of information in colleges, paralegal offices, and to lawyers through presentations.
Mentors Should Have A Community. Even if there individuals who want to be lawyers, there are not enough mentors who are willing to guide them and let those individuals work with them to learn. SELC mentioned that several individuals who want to be a part of the field of law contact it but their main question is how they can get in touch with a mentor. SELC suggested that a directory be created of mentors that are open for letting interested would-be lawyers work under their supervision. This directory should be made easily available to anyone who wants to be a lawyer.
Flexibility With Strict Rules. SELC suggested that some rules in Business and Professions Code are very strict and become an obstacle in letting mentors getting in touch with people interested in apprenticeship. This rule states that if a lawyer or attorney wants to do mentoring it must present records as proof of his continuous working practice for past 5 years. SELC stated that unemployment is at its peak in the field of law and this can cause many attorneys to be out of practice. In addition to this, it is quite usual among attorneys to visit other states or opt for some work that is not purely law related. Medical leaves can also become a reason why an attorney might not be in practice for past 5 years continuously. SELC requested that this rule be changed in such a way that an attorney should be allowed to do mentoring of apprentices if their combined experience and practice in California is 5 years.
LOSP Participants Should Have Their Own Curricula
It has been observed that individuals who approach the bar exam through apprenticeship have been behind in the passage rate. It is not a question of who is more able, rather it is about the curriculum that is not suited for them. A curriculum should be introduced that is specifically designed for individuals who want to go forth in the field through apprenticeship. Such curricula should be distributed among not only the apprentices but the attorneys acting as mentors too and the state bar website can be a great platform to host this curricula.
Facilitating The Legal Service Organizations
There are many legal organizations within the state that State Bar could help by offering support. These organizations have apprenticeship programs available for individuals and any help to these organizations will be a great help for would-be lawyers. SELC is just one of those organizations and has been helping individuals through apprenticeship for more than 3 years. There are many other organizations that have been working just like SELC, such as Homeless Action Center and United Farm Workers. Many other benefits of such practice were included in the comments sent to the task force.
SELC believes that people pursuing career in the field of law through apprenticeship should be happy that the future looks bright for them. President Obama is very happy to help apprenticeship programs across nation so long as he can find a way to tax them, and has declared that he wants the number of apprentices increased by 2020 to a double figure. $1.5 billion have already been dedicated to support any programs that will be working for helping the apprenticeship and other training programs. SELC is aiming at having a registered apprenticeship program for lawyers introduced that will help lawyers become mentors and allow would-be lawyers to easily access mentors. The beginning of this program has taken place in California and will move further from here.
Karl Marx, prior to the bloody red terror, referenced lawyers who supported his socialist revolution as “Useful Idiots.” Presently, the majority of senators and congressmen are attorneys. It seems throughout history, everywhere there are lawyers, there is a wake of popular contempt that is sure to follow. Is the downward trend of lawyerly influence continuing? Modernly, many people simply loathe attorneys, thinking of them as “jerks”, “out of touch”, and “pompous.” In California, it seems that there is a lawyer everywhere. But lawyer jokes may soon be fewer, due to a new educational trend.
With the California economy is in shambles, gas prices outrageously high, and businesses fleeing the state to business friendly states like Texas, my personal injury law firm in particular, is seeing less and less accident and injuries on the roads, as well as work place and premises injuries. What that means to tort lawyers, is that there are less people to sue. To some personal injury defense firms, it seems that there is no one left to defend, or far less people to answer for in any event. I bet they are not so vocal about “tort reform” now.
The Mass Exodus of Potential New Clients and Legal Jobs from California
Let’s face it, producers are leaving California and people on welfare and public assistance are coming in droves. Few ever leave. Why would they? They have no earned income to speak of in most cases, so for firms like mine, even when non-producers are injured, the jury damages award sometimes can be less than the costs of the case, especially with the modern trend of passing more and more the once public costs, to the private parties.
But the trickle down effect of California’s tax, borrow and spend economy touches legal advocates especially hard. For example, less cars and goods being sold means less contract lawyers needed, less elder law due to reloacted facilities, and death cases means less of a need for probate lawyers who have less conservatorships to set up. It can also mean less need for criminal defense attorneys who have less DUI after work offenses to plea bargain. It goes without saying that the ability for lawyers to hire paralegals, legal assistants and so on has been greatly diminished in this failed economy.
Large Firms and California State House Counsel Downsizing and Cutting Hours
Large firms have been steadily and rapidly laying off highly experienced lawyers since around 2008. The State of California has issued furlough days to their lawyers. I personally know many attorneys with hundreds of jury trials under their belts that are looking for extra work. Many of these professionals could easily litigate me under the table. Correspondingly, court services we once took for granted, like court reporters in civil cases, are now the up front responsibility of the parties (eg, personal injury lawyers will usually be forced to advance these costs, and in other cases, the client will need to budget a huge amount of money aside to pay for these new found costs.)
The Corresponding Drop In Law School Applications
One of the biggest beneficiaries of a strong, business friendly economy are the ABA and Cal Bar Certified law schools. With the endless and easy to obtain grants and loans they can broker for their students, comes big bucks for personal prestige, nice cars, houses and job security for their staffers.
Law School Applications Decreasing—Class Could Be at a 40 Year Low
But now law school applications have been dropping steadily with the amount decreasing by approximately a whopping 37 percent, since 2010according to statistics by the Law School Admission Council. The experts opine that this decrease equates to about 38,000 people entering law school this year, which is the smallest group of law students to enter American Bar Association accredited law schools in years.
The graduates that were entering law school in 2010 totaled 52,488 for their first year. There is no end in sight thus far. A recent ABA article (See infra.), claims that nationally, law schools were hoping this year would be an end to the decline have been unpleasantly surprised, since the amount of applications continues to decline.
Thus far, there are no data statistics that gave me any indication the decrease in law students will be over anytime soon. The downward trend is continuing with declining applications and admissions into law schools and will add to the disappointing statistical data from past years.
This obviously can not be good to the “system”. To me, the cause and effect is clear and outlined above. The average law school debt in California is well over $100,000.00! What person in their right minds would want to try being a lawyer with that significant debt and debt service burden in an economy like ours? Well, actually, how about someone who is not laden with debt?
Enter the California State Bar Law Office Study Program
As discussed on this blog, Law Office Study (“LOSP”) is not for everyone, but for highly disciplined people, such as USMC veterans, those who had responsible mentors and parents, and the like, studying law in a law office for 4 years has huge benefits. The number one benefit of the LOSP is the fact that you pay your way with your time, and the supervising attorney donates his or her time instructing you. As a Certified Law Student, you can also act as second chair in civil trials, and first chair in criminal cases for the prosecutor.
Heck, you can even extern for a judge or justice. Not having $180,000.00 in debt means you can probably start your own practice. And why not, you just spent 4 years actually doing pleadings, legal research, learning how to use Word and Word Perfect, propounding and responding to discovery and so on. Of course, your supervising attorney, who will be at your swearing in may have to say a thing our two like “partner”, “associate” etc.
I know I would not be in any hurry to lose a student that I had trained in the ways of the force. At the very least, I would hire him or her to do depositions and appearances and I would make sure my fellow attorneys provided odd jobs to my former student.
Not having the huge debt, coupled with the law office experience places LOSP grads at the top of the food chain for firms less concerned about image, and more concerned about “bottom line.” Of course, not having a grad from a prestigious law school who can’t even use Word Perfect dictating things and demanding a private assistant, is also beneficial.
At the end of the day, “schools” are a recent phenomenon, and also have a huge political reprogramming effect on the impressionable young kids entering the law classroom for the very first time. I saw many middle of the road thinkers enter law schools, and leave as the very “useful idiots” that Marx spoke of. In an independent study program, lawyers are focused on teaching students how to analyze and deduce. In other words LOSP grads were taught how to think, not what to think.
With the peer pressure and political leaning of professors removed, the student is free to focus on learning black letter law, and how to behave like a real lawyer. Even in a bad economy, the LOSP grad is at a tremendous advantage.
There are lawyers who may not get the respect they deserve, who have taken advantage of the law-office study program to become a legal professional, even though this is how lawyers were trained. This is not only a study program; the national trends raise the bar and particularly for reading the law there is specific expectations that must be adhered. In almost every state the lawyers are regulated by the Supreme Court, rather than an executive branch of the state government like other professions. This places the state’s attorneys in a precarious position.
States like California and Vermont have the self-made attorney benefits of the law-office study program, but it is believed by state regulators that this is not a benefit that is likely to be taken advantage of in all states or catch on, even by those looking for a second career. Other states tend to believe that standardized training is the better choice for the legal professional.
In states that permit the individual to train in the law study programs do not seem to have any downturn in this type of program where it is not taken advantage of by people who want to train as an attorney. One of the reasons that this type of program training still exists, according to some Board of Bar Examiners is simply a matter of economic diversity, even though they feel that requiring law school training could be a appealing thought.
They realize in the end that for some individuals who want to practice law, it would not be possible financially for them to attend law school and that they work hard to accomplish their goal. This means for now and the near future law office training will remain a constant in the states that permit it. Without the alternative training for lawyers, many people who make exceptional attorneys would never be able to practice law without having this kind of advantage for training.
This is not something that is taken lightly or that every person who attempts to become an attorney without attending a formal law school will manage, but for those who do they will be joining the ranks of some very distinguished American attorneys, including: