While going to law school in Chicago, many of us were envious of kids that graduated from Wisconsin law schools who were not required to take a state bar. It now turns out that we may have been victims of an unconstitutional discrimination against outside law schools. In an interesting opinion written by Judge Richard Posner of the United States Supreme Court, the Wisconsin rule was found to be a violation of the commerce clause.
The Wisconsin in-state privilege means that anyone graduating from a non-Wisconsin law school must take the state bar. Graduates of the Oklahoma City University School of Law filed a class action to challenge the rule — naming the Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
The lawsuit was dismissed in 2007 by U.S. District Judge John C. Shabaz because even Wisconsin residents must take the bar if they go to an outside law school. Posner, however, said not so fast. The panel sent the case back down to the district as prematurely dismissed.
Posner wants to allow the plaintiffs to try to prove their case, including their argument that there is precious little difference between the curriculum of the state’s two law schools (Wisconsin and Marquette) and non-Wisconsin law schools.
For the full opinion, click here.
For the story, click here.