Paul L. Caron

Friday, August 14, 2020

Law Professors Ask ABA To Shelve Bar Passage Accreditation Requirement During Pandemic

Karen Sloan (, Law Professors Ask ABA to Shelve Bar Passage Rule During Pandemic:

SALT (2020)A law professor group has renewed calls for the American Bar Association to suspend enforcement of its bar passage standard for law schools, arguing that the bar exam is in disarray amid COVID-19 and that schools should not be held to the same measures during the pandemic.

The Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), in a letter to the ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, argues that the current bar passage standard is unworkable at a time when states are taking divergent approaches to attorney licensing. Some have adopted emergency diploma privileges that allow law graduates to skip the test, others are administering abbreviated online tests, and some are sticking with a traditional two-day, in person exam. ...

The bar passage standard—called Standard 316—requires that at least 75% of a law school’s graduates pass the bar within two years. If they miss that mark, they risk losing their ABA accreditation.

Coronavirus, Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink


"I don’t get it. 25 year olds have nearly a zero chance of dying from the virus."

1) it's not a binary "you die or you're asymptomatic" outcome. More and more young people are ending up with permanent organ damage.

2) Adults can be asymptomatic and spread it to others.

3) The test-takers aren't the only people at the testing location.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Aug 20, 2020 8:45:46 AM

I don’t get it. 25 year olds have nearly a zero chance of dying from the virus. Why all the noise over whether to take the bar exam?

I do remember the bar exam as I had to retake it 16 years ago (25 plus years out of law school) when I opened my NJ office (no reciprocity.) There were spaces between each test taker. Where is the science??

The old bar exam required that you know procedure that is now taught in a post bar exam class. Quite hard.

I have taken a variety of semi-useless tests throughout my life. There validity was questionable, but you had to pass, so you did. Was passing the bar exam a surprise to law students?

Posted by: aircav65 | Aug 16, 2020 7:14:59 AM

While it's nice to see law professor pivot from their callous "Network! Move to North Dakota! Get another (another) degree! It's not our problem!" shtick during all of the years of <60% full-time, long-term, license-required outcomes nationwide during and after the Great Recession, it would have been even better if they gave a d*mn about their students back then.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Aug 14, 2020 9:30:48 AM

Perhaps we could shelve law school attendance during the pandemic.

Posted by: Anon | Aug 14, 2020 9:27:28 AM