Paul L. Caron
Dean



Monday, May 11, 2020

57 Deans Ask Massachusetts To Not Discriminate Against Graduates Of Out-Of-State Law Schools In Sitting For September Bar Exam

Following up on my previous post, Massacuhsetts Will Give Priority To Graduates From Massachusetts' 8 Law Schools For Limited Spots To Take September Bar Exam (May 5, 2020):

Mass Bar (2020)Deans Ask Massachusetts To Not Discriminate Against Graduates Of Out-Of-State Law Schools In Sitting For September Bar Exam (May 7, 2020):

Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
John Adams Courthouse
1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500,
Boston, MA 02108

Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square, Suite 5-140
Boston, MA 02108

Dear Chief Justice Gants and Mr. Harris,

We are deans of law schools across the country who have students who sit for the bar examination in your state each year. We write in response to the recent announcement of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners:

“Should the number of applicants to sit for this administration of the Massachusetts UBE exceed the number of available seats, access to available seats will be prioritized, as follows.

1. All graduates of law schools located in Massachusetts who have met all requirements of S.J.C. Rule 3:01 and who are sitting for the bar exam for a first time or a second time will be provided a seat for the exam, regardless of the date of the filing of the Petition for Admission to the Massachusetts bar.”

We recognize that this decision is framed against the need to protect public health in the midst of a pandemic that has brought devastating loss of life. And we are mindful of the very difficult decisions and trade-offs that all institutions, including your Court and your Board, must make at this time.

Still, as you can imagine, the news of your approach has fallen hard on the many students who had planned to sit for the bar in Massachusetts this summer or fall, a number of whom are Massachusetts residents and have already physically returned or relocated to Massachusetts during this pandemic. And we worry that the resulting delay in the exam’s administration and admission to practice will fall hardest on the most economically vulnerable of our graduates and on those whose continued presence in the United States will be compromised by the delay.

We stand ready to help find solutions that could expand testing capacity in feasible ways. We write collectively to offer our support to put in place some combination of the following measures to mitigate the effect of your April 30 decision on graduates from out-of-state schools:

• Offering second dates for Massachusetts’ administration of the UBE in the September 9-10 sitting that will be offered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners;
• Increasing seating for Massachusetts’ September 30-October 1 administration of the UBE by adding new locations within Massachusetts;
• Creating seats for Massachusetts’ administration of the UBE outside of Massachusetts, including, potentially, using some of our schools as possible venues;
• Working to develop an on-line bar exam, either in conjunction with the NCBE or as a freestanding Massachusetts exam.

We stand ready to work as a group to help identify additional proctors and alternative locations, both inside and outside Massachusetts, and to facilitate any of these solutions.

We are grateful to you for considering these proposals, and we recognize the tremendous work you are doing to navigate an unprecedented public health crisis which has inflicted great loss on the world and on the people of Massachusetts. We would welcome discussion with members of your Court and with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners about how we can help with any of these proposals.

With respect,

Kerry Abrams
James B. Duke and Benjamin N. Duke Dean
Duke University School of Law

Robert B. Ahdieh
Dean and Anthony G. Buzbee Endowed Dean's Chair
Texas A&M University School of Law

Jane H. Aiken
Dean
Wake Forest School of Law

Jessica Berg and Michael Scharf
Co-Deans
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Richard A. Bierschbach
Dean and Professor of Law
Wayne State University Law School

Mary Anne Bobinski
Dean and Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law
Emory University School of Law

Gregory W. Bowman
Dean-Designate
Roger Williams University School of Law

Mark E. Brandom
Dean and Thomas E. McMillian Professor of Law
The University of Alabama School of Law

Paul L. Caron
Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean
Pepperdine Caruso School of Law

Megan Carpenter
Dean and Professor of Law
Franklin Pierce School of Law
University of New Hampshire

Erwin Chemerinsky
Dean & Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law
UC Berkeley School of Law

G. Marcus Cole
The Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor of Law
Notre Dame Law School
The University of Notre Dame

Darby Dickerson
Dean and Professor of Law
UIC John Marshall Law School
The University of Illinois at Chicago

Allison M. Dussias
Acting Dean and Professor of Law
New England Law|Boston

Allen K. Easley
Dean and Professor of Law
Western State College of Law

Lyn Suzanne Entzeroth
Dean and Dean John Rogers Endowed Chair
The University of Tulsa College of Law

David L. Faigman
Chancellor and Dean
University of California Hastings College of Law

Ward Farnsworth
Dean and John Jeffers Research Chair in Law
University of Texas School of Law

Stephen C. Ferruolo
Dean and Professor of Law
University of San Diego School of Law

Daniel M. Filler
Dean and Professor of Law
Thomas R. Kline School of Law
Drexel University

Timothy Fisher
Dean and Professor of Law
University of Connecticut School of Law

Heather K. Gerken
Dean and
Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law
Yale Law School

Risa L. Goluboff
Dean and Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law
University of Virginia School of Law

Chris Guthrie
Dean
Vanderbilt Law School

Andrew T. Guzman
Dean and Carl Mason Franklin Chair in Law
USC Gould School of Law
University of Southern California

James Hackney
Dean and Professor of Law
Northeastern University School of Law

Brant J. Hellwig
Dean
Washington and Lee University School of Law

Danielle Holley-Walker
Dean and Professor of Law
Howard University School of Law

Melanie B. Jacobs
Interim Dean and Professor of Law
Michigan State University College of Law

Garry W. Jenkins
Dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law
University of Minnesota Law School

Christian Johnson
Dean
Widener University Commonwealth Law School

Michael J. Kaufman
Dean of the School of Law and Vice Provost
Loyola University Chicago

Gregory N. Mandel
Dean and Peter J. Liacouras Professor of Law
Beasley School of Law
Temple University

John Manning
Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and
Professor of Law
Harvard Law School

Mark D. Martin
Dean and Professor
Regent University School of Law

Jenny S. Martinez
Dean and Richard E. Lang Professor of Law
Stanford Law School

David D. Meyer
Dean and Mitchell Franklin Professor Law
Tulane University Law School

Thomas J. Miles
Dean and
Clifton R. Musser Professor of Law & Economics
The University of Chicago Law School

Jennifer L. Mnookin
Dean and
Ralph and Shirley Shapiro Professor of Law
UCLA Law

Angela Onwuachi-Willig
Dean and Professor of Law
Boston University School of Law

Hari M. Osofsky
Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law
Penn State Law
The Pennsylvania State University

Andrew Perlman
Dean and Professor of Law
Suffolk University Law School

Christopher J. Peters
Dean and C. Blake McDowell, Jr. Professor of Law
C. Blake McDowell Law Center
The University of Akron School of Law

L. Song Richardson
Dean and Chancellor's Professor of Law
University of California, Irvine School of Law

Laura Ann Rosenbury
Dean and
Levin, Mabie & Levin Professor of Law
Levin College of Law
University of Florida

Vincent Rougeau
Dean and Professor
Boston College of Law

Thomas W. Ruger
Dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law
University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Brad Saxton
Interim Dean and Professor of Law
Quinnipiac University School of Law

Sudha Setty
Dean and Professor of Law
Western New England University School of Law

D. Gordon Smith
Dean and Woodruff J. Deem Professor of Law
BYU Law

Aviam Soifer
Dean
William S. Richardson School of Law
University of Hawai'i

Michael E. Waterstone
Fritz B. Burns Dean
Loyola Law School
Loyola Marymount University

Mark D. West
Dean and Nippon Life Professor of Law
University of Michigan Law School

Verna L. Williams
Dean and Nippert Professor of Law
University of Cincinnati College of Law

Melanie D. Wilson
Dean and Lindsay Young Distinguished Professor
The University of Tennessee College of Law

Michael J. Yelnosky
Dean and Professor of Law
Roger Williams University School of Law

Kimberly A. Yuracko
Dean and
Judd & Mary Morris Leighton Professor of Law
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

TaxProf Blog coverage the New York bar exam: 

TaxProf Blog coverage of the July 2020 bar exam:

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

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2020/05/deans-ask-massachusetts-to-not-discriminate-against-graduates-of-out-of-state-law-schools-in-sitting.html

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