In June 2022, the Oregon Supreme Court approved the adoption of two new pathways for admission to the Oregon State Bar, in addition to the traditional bar examination. The Court’s action followed several years of work by multiple task forces of the Oregon Supreme Court and the Oregon State Bar (Board of Bar Examiners (BBX).
The Licensure Pathways Development Committee (LPDC) is now charged with developing the regulatory framework for the two new pathways:
- The Oregon Experiential Pathway (OEP) will offer students at Oregon’s three law schools a rigorous experiential curriculum in their second and third years of law school, followed by submission of a portfolio of work to be examined by the BBX for admission to the bar.
- The Supervised Practice Pathway (SPP) will allow applicants to work in a supervised apprenticeship settings following graduation from law school. They too would then submit work to the BBX to be reviewed for minimum competency.
The OSB will continue to offer the Oregon Bar Exam as a means to establish minimum competency, and to allow applicants to receive a portable Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) score accepted in other jurisdictions. The National Conference of Bar Examiners, which administers the UBE in conjunction with the OSB, is in the process of revamping its exam to create a “NextGen Bar Exam” to more effectively and equitably assess the knowledge and skills of bar applicants.
In developing both the OEP and SPP, the Committee has examined other jurisdictions that offer multiple licensure pathways, but will create a model that will best serve Oregon consumers. Two core priorities in program development will be consumer protection, and equity in the legal profession.
Please see the Resources tab for detailed information and background on these developing programs.