And in turn, a lot of the first-year legal theory is only superficially about the rules, and more about exploring the many different modes of analysis that can be used to interpret those rules. A lawyer friend advised me 18 months ago that the rules are fairly easy, and that it's not unusual for a good paralegal or legal secretary to know the rules better than a lawyer does, but that the skill of an attorney is more about being able to explore the many possible interpretations from a given set of rules, whether to craft a persuasive argument in a dispute or to avert future disputes by anticipating where misunderstandings might arise and pre-empting them by clarifying ambiguities. So the more law I learn, the less I understand, if you see what I mean. At some point this trend will reverse itself...I hope :-)
So I can sort of understand the Texas approach here. Yes, it does involve a certain amount of nest-feathering by lawyers who wish to keep their services positioned at a high price point and use the ABA standards as an exclusionary filter. But on the other hand, you really don't want a lawyer whose only claim on a license is the ability to remember a large number of rules and apply them to straightforward cases, because that sort of lawyer will treat an unfamiliar problem like a legal dartboard and just try to hit as many rule issues as possible in the hope that one of them will score big. That sort of kitchen-sink strategy is good for intimidation or burying someone in paperwork, but it will fail badly against someone with a really strong analytical capability who will be able to weigh the significance of all the different rules in context and guide a court towards a wise decision rather one that is merely superficially correct. The lawyer with an excessively mechanistic, rules-based approach won't do a really good job for the client , and that undermines the standing of the whole profession. It's like the differences between first aid training, the greater skill of a paramedic or nurse, the deeper knowledge of a doctor, and the really expert knowledge of a surgeon or specialist researcher. All kinds of medical expertise have value in different contexts; you don't want to pay a brain surgeon to treat a minor cut, but nor you do want the camp counselor to operate on your subdural hematoma.