Last week the Mississippi Supreme Court amended the Rules Governing Admission to the Mississippi Bar. Here is the Order.

Effective immediately, everyone who was admitted to practice without having to take the bar exam must pass the exam to continue practicing.

Just kidding old fellas.

Here is the new rule:

Section 8. Re-examination in Excess of Three.

An applicant who has unsuccessfully taken the Mississippi Bar Exam three (3) times shall not be eligible for re-examination until he or she has successfully completed at least twelve (12) additional semester hours of law school courses at an ABA accredited law school relevant to subjects covered by or skills necessary to the passage of the Mississippi Bar Examination. A certificate must be issued to the Board of Bar Admissions by the law school stating that the applicant has successfully completed these classes. Satisfaction of the requirement shall permit the applicant to retake the Mississippi Bar Examination on one (1) additional occasion. To be eligible for further re-examination, the applicant must comply with the requirements set forth above between each unsuccessful examination attempt.

The rule was not without disagreement. Justices Coleman and Chamberlin (in part) would not allow candidates who fail three times to retake the exam. Ever.

Justice Griffis advocates a maximum number of attempts of five and disagrees with law school serving as the only option for further education before another exam.

My Take:

I don’t have strong feelings on this issue.

Back when I knew people taking the bar exam, people generally failed because of poor time management studying, they were too nervous, or things really went bad on a subject or two. I don’t know what it’s like now.

My questions are: (1) how many people are there who fail the bar exam more than three times? and (2) do any of them ever pass.

If so, I wonder how many of them end up practicing law and saying: “I took the bar exam ___ times for this?”

I know a lot of people who passed the exam the first try who would say that.