Thursday, August 10, 2006

The hardest bar exam

After reading the numerous debates about which state has the hardest bar exam, and of course, wanting to believe that I have taken, if not passed, the hardest one, I googled it. (ahhhh....a new verb) To my surprise, I discovered the hardest bar exam is in fact the JAPANESE bar exam. Only three per cent of all applicants pass.

A society that prizes harmony over all almost anything it would seem does not appreciate the need for lawyers. In fact, there is reportedly a SHORTAGE of lawyers in Japan. Estimates range, for a nation of about a hundred million people (roughly, I'm going by memory) that there are only 20,000 attorneys. American has one million.

I have read observations that state that Japan has historically maintained social order by denying recourse to most people. This would portray American society as a society in which the common people have greater freedom in their ability to use the government to protect themselves. The other side of that is obviously the abuse of the system so commonly the subject of newspaper articles ridiculing the legal profession and the process itself; that Americans think too much of their rights and not enough of their obligations to others.


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