Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Bar Exam And The COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need For Immediate Action

Claudia Angelos (NYU), Sara Berman (AccessLex), Mary Lu Bilek (CUNY), Carol Chomsky (Minnesota), Andrea Anne Curcio (Georgia State), Marsha Griggs (Washburn), Joan Howarth (UNLV; Michigan State), Eileen Kaufman (Touro), Deborah Merritt (Ohio State), Patricia Salkin (Touro) & Judith Wegner (North Carolina), The Bar Exam and the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need for Immediate Action:

CoronavirusThe novel coronavirus COVID-19 has profoundly disrupted life in the United States. Among other challenges, jurisdictions are unlikely to be able to administer the July 2020 bar exam in the usual manner. It is essential, however, to continue licensing new lawyers. Those lawyers are necessary to meet current needs in the legal system. Equally important, the demand for legal services will skyrocket during and after this pandemic. We cannot close doors to the profession at a time when client demand will reach an all-time high.

In this brief policy paper, we outline six licensing options for jurisdictions to consider for the Class of 2020. Circumstances will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but we hope that these options will help courts and regulators make this complex decision. These are unprecedented times: We must work together to ensure we do not leave the talented members of Class of 2020 on the sidelines when we need every qualified professional on the field to keep our justice system moving.

TaxProf Blog coverage of the July 2020 bar exam:

For complete TaxProf Blog coverage of the coronavirus, see here.

Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink


Cancel the July Exam and hold it in February. Encourage 3Ls to intern or apprentice in the interim if/when anything opens up. It's not like they're going to have jobs anytime soon.

Courts in New York are not even accepting filings in existing cases. Rubber stamping law licenses is not the solution. This pandemic impacts everyone. Let's allow the Court administrations go get their legs under them before they start devoting resources to performing character and fitness interviews, checking credentials, etc.

If you want to make sure that students can take the exam, even though the administrative process of law admissions likely will still be delayed, including grading the exams, why not volunteer your University real estate and faculty to proctor tests in rooms of no more than 4 students plus a proctor?

Posted by: Not a good idea | Mar 24, 2020 7:32:42 AM