California First Year Law Student Exam

I came across an interesting case about the FYLSX when I was researching competitive bidding requirements for public entities. (I have no idea either....)

In any event, the case is Bib'le v. Committee of Bar Examiners, 162 Cal.Rptr. 426, 26 Cal.3d 548, 606 P.2d 733 (Cal., 1980) and involves a challenge by a student at an unaccredited law school who wanted to be able to sit for the general California bar exam without having to pass the FYLSX.

The case itself is an interesting read, but the court also summarized the rationale for creating the FYLSX in a footnote.  What I find interesting about the footnote was the court's statement that even in the 1930s, law schools were trying to get as many students as possible so they could earn money and were not looking out for the best interests of their students. Sound familiar?

Here is footnote 6 from the opinion:
The FYLSX is the end result of a 1933 Report of President's Advisory Committee submitted to the Board of Governors of the State Bar. The report recited pressures in some law schools to secure and maintain enrollment of students not qualified to become members of the bar. It was further reported that because unqualified students were not eliminated in many unaccredited law schools, it was not until such students had failed the bar examination after years of study that they realized they would never qualify for admission to the bar. Beginning in 1935 the committee required all first year students to take an examination in first year courses, except for those students receiving first year course instruction in schools approved by the committee.


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