The bar exam has rarely been of curiosity to legal scholars. Although its format and pass rate vary substantially across countries and jurisdictions, it’s frequently ignored as just a qualifying exam targeted at “controlling producing producers,” as Richard L. Abel argues in the seminal book American Lawyers. Even just in Japan, in which the bar exam pass rate was once as little as 2-3%, most discussions contemplating reform have centered on whether it’s desirable to improve the amount of lawyers. Although a lot of law professors took test-and a few, famously, have flunked it-there appears to become little scholarly curiosity about understanding its content. read more