Monday, April 20, 2020
Wall Street Journal, Law Students in ‘No Man’s Land’ as Coronavirus Delays Bar Exams:
[G]raduating law school students [have seen their plans] turned upside down as the coronavirus pandemic has spread and led states to cancel or postpone the July bar exam. Passing the bar before practicing as an attorney is a requirement in most states. ...
[T]he roughly 46,000 other soon-to-be law graduates across the U.S. who planned to take the July bar exam are now uncertain what their job status will be if they can’t take the test that permits them to be an attorney. In addition to a delayed bar exam, the job market for lawyers is starting to dry up. Law firms have reduced staff and cut pay as courts are largely closed, settlement discussions are on pause and few new deals are being struck.
In most jurisdictions, the bar exam is offered twice a year, in February and July. It is made available to the individual state courts that administer it by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, or NCBE. Earlier this month, the NCBE said it made additional tests available for Sept. 9-10 and Sept. 30-Oct. 1 for states that postpone the July test date.
States including New York, Hawaii and Massachusetts have announced plans to cancel or delay the summer bar exam. ... The Utah Supreme Court said earlier this month it will consider waiving the bar exam requirement for recent law school graduates. ... [The NCBE] is exploring what it would take to allow people to take the bar exam online.
“The job market is beyond grim, and then they are in this no man’s land,” New York State Bar Association President Hank Greenberg said of new graduates’ inability to take the bar.
TaxProf Blog coverage of the July 2020 bar exam:
- The Bar Exam And The COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need For Immediate Action (Mar. 14, 2020)
- NCBE To Decide By May 5 Whether It Will Provide MBE For July Bar Examinations (Mar. 27, 2020)
- New York Postpones July Bar Exam To Fall; Students Demand Emergency Diploma Privilege To Practice Law (Mar. 28, 2020)
- Massachusetts Joins New York In Postponing July Bar Exam (Mar. 30, 2020)
- Connecticut Is Third State To Postpone July Bar Exam (Mar. 31, 2020)
- Hawaii Is Fourth State To Postpone July Bar Exam (Apr. 2, 2020)
- New Jersey Is Fifth State To Postpone July Bar Exam, First To Offer 2020 Law Grads Temporary License To Practice (Apr. 7, 2020)
- July Bar Exam Update: ABA, Arizona, California, Florida, Tennessee, Vermont (Apr. 8, 2020)
- Indiana Allows 2020 Law Grads To Serve As Graduate Legal Interns And Take February 2021 Bar Exam (Apr. 9, 2020)
- Utah To Let Grads Skip Bar Exam Due To COVID-19, But Only From Schools With 86%+ Bar Pass Rate; Grads Of Just 4 Of California's 21 Law Schools Would Qualify (Apr. 11, 2020)
- Licensing Lawyers In A Pandemic: Proving Competence (Apr. 12, 2020)
- Even In Time Of Crisis, Hold Fast To Bar Exam (Apr. 13, 2020)
- Bar Exam Federalism During The COVID-19 Pandemic (Apr. 14, 2020)
- State Bar Tells California Supreme Court: Delay Or Cancel July Bar Exam (Apr. 15, 2020)
- July Bar Exam Update: Maine, Rhode Island (Apr. 16, 2020)
- Letter From California State Bar To California Supreme Court On July Bar Exam (Apr. 17, 2020)
- July Bar Exam Update: Georgia, Tennessee, Virgin Islands (Apr. 18, 2020)
- Letter From California Deans To California Supreme Court On July Bar Exam (Apr. 18, 2020)
For complete TaxProf Blog coverage of the coronavirus, see here.