The “minimum competence” required by lawyers to practice law has yet to be clearly defined, which is exactly the purpose of the bar exam. The Building a Better Bar: Capturing Minimum Competence project is the groundbreaking effort aiming to define evidence-based minimum competency and subsequently improve the bar exam.
The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) and Professor Deborah Merritt at the Ohio State University (OSU) Moritz College of Law have partnered to spearhead this endeavor, which is being funded by a Bar Success Research Grant from AccessLex Institute and a grant from OSU. This project will utilize evidence gathered through 60 focus groups across 12 states to compile and analyze diverse viewpoints on minimum competency. With the objective of developing a clearer understanding of what future lawyers need to best serve their clients, Building a Better Bar’s goals reinforce the purpose-driven mission of AccessLex.