Our licensing system assesses at least two skills that are not part of minimum competence: Speed and memorization. The material linked below explains why new lawyers do not need those skills--and why they may even be harmful. We should not assess candidates for either their ability to memorize or to work quickly.
Experienced lawyers sometimes must respond quickly to clients, courts, or other audiences. This, however, is rare for new lawyers. Instead, new lawyers need care and thoroughness--not speed--to be minimally competent.
As lawyers gain familiarity with a practice area, they internalize many of the area's rules. New lawyers, however, should not try to practice from memory; this is dangerous. Instead, new lawyers should know how to find the rules they need.