Delaware Lowers Bar for New Attorneys

The state of Delaware has announced changes to its bar exam with the aim of increasing “diversity” among its legal professionals, according to Fox News.

The passing score on the exam has been lowered from 145 to 143, while the number of essays required has been reduced from eight to four, with a corresponding decrease in the number of essay topics from 14 to 10.

The clerkship requirement has also been shortened from 21 to 12 weeks, and the mandatory list of legal proceedings has been reduced from 25 to 18.

In addition, the late application fee for law school graduates and attorneys admitted in other states has been lowered.

The changes are set to take effect in 2024, with the exam being offered twice a year instead of once.

The Delaware Supreme Court, which oversees the bar exam, has emphasized that the changes do not represent a lowering of standards, but rather a modernization of the admission process in line with standards in other states.

Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz Jr., who initiated the diversity project that led to the changes, said the revisions will enhance competitiveness in attracting legal talent to Delaware, which is a hub of business litigation.

According to Seitz, the changes are intended to make the exam less of a barrier to entry for aspiring lawyers, while still ensuring that applicants have the ability to practice law successfully in Delaware.

“The bar exam is not supposed to be a barrier to entering the profession but is supposed to be a test of an applicant’s ability to successfully practice law in Delaware, and I believe these reforms will help better reflect that purpose,” he said.

Chuck Durante, president of the Delaware State Bar Association, praised the changes, saying they would “remove certain unnecessary impediments to applications to the Delaware bar, to rip some barbed wire from the welcome mat, some traditional barriers that had developed into something quite artificial.”

“White people generally who have their antennae up, who understand what is happening in society, have learned the meaning of microaggression. They’ve learned the meaning of how to be welcoming, how to be professional, how to make this community better suited for diversity in its professional class, including its lawyers,” he said.