Business Intelligence

The Impact Of Potential Labor Supply On Licensing Exam Difficulty In The US Market For Lawyers

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Executive Summary

Entry into licensed professions requires meeting competency requirements, typically assessed through licensing examinations. In the market for lawyers, there are large differences in the difficulty of the entry examination both across states and over time. The paper explores whether the number and quality of individuals attempting to enter the profession (potential supply) affects the difficulty of the entry examination. The empirical results show that a larger potential supply leads to more difficult licensing exams and lower pass rates. This implies that licensing partially shelters the legal market from supply shocks.

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