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State Bar Examination

May 22, 1986

Thank you very much for your editorial. I, along with many other law school graduates, have been trying to attract attention regarding the bar exam in California but my cries for help have been falling only on deaf and uncaring ears.

I agree completely that the bar exam standards in California do not assure competent attorneys. (I'm sure everyone who has ever circulated in the legal world can name more than one attorney who was unprofessional or incompetent.) What the bar exam does test in California is one's ability to pass an exam successfully. And, because the standard is so high in California, those of us who are competent people, who have worked as professionals, are prohibited from practicing law just because we are not good test-takers.

I was a bilingual elementary school teacher for five years, a law clerk for the Los Angeles County district attorney for two years, and a field representative to a legislator for 2 1/2 years. And, what's more, I have always been successful and more than competent in whatever type of work I have done.

As indicated in your editorial, the real reason for maintaining unrealistic high standards is to eliminate competition. But that is illegal and the Committee of Bar Examiners and the State Bar continue to allow that unfair restraint on trade.

VAL VELASCO

Los Angeles

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