Massachusetts has now added access to justice to the bar exam, starting in 2016.
As previously reported in this blog when comment was sought, the now-accepted proposal includes a wide range of topics from landlord tenant to predatory lending, and from right to counsel (really!) to unbundling to due process hearing rights.
These last quasi-procedural areas may have the most promise, since they will help steer law schools towards paying attention to these issues. In particular, the inclusion of unbundling means that everyone who passes the Mass bar will have been taught about unbundling. It will be fascinating to see how law school classes and bar review classes change. Maybe it will help speed the spread of access to justice courses.
More generally, however, I would like to think that the real world focus of access to justice will help steer the exam towards rewarding not so much the creative spotting of expensive and impractical legal issues but rather the common sense ones to which a lawyer on the meter for a low or middle income client should pay attention.
Maybe access to justice can help restore sanity to the profession.