Corona and the July Bar Exam

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Johnnybgoode92

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Corona and the July Bar Exam

Postby Johnnybgoode92 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:40 am

Above the law and national jurist have written about how the bar may be delayed or diploma privilege granted. Have any students heard anything from their profs/any practicing attorneys involved in bar organizations have thoughts on this matter?

salexander

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Re: Corona and the July Bar Exam

Postby salexander » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:58 am

Those articles are reporting on a paper written by academics, in which several alternative outcomes are explored. The authors of that paper are in no way affiliated with the NCBE or some other authority with decision-making power or inside information.

With that said, the paper had some interesting points. In essence, they seemed to favor the options that would result in July 2020 grads not having to take the exam (e.g., by diploma privilege, supplemental CLE-type requirements, licensing after some time working under another attorney).

Johnnybgoode92

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Re: Corona and the July Bar Exam

Postby Johnnybgoode92 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:47 pm

salexander wrote:Those articles are reporting on a paper written by academics, in which several alternative outcomes are explored. The authors of that paper are in no way affiliated with the NCBE or some other authority with decision-making power or inside information.

With that said, the paper had some interesting points. In essence, they seemed to favor the options that would result in July 2020 grads not having to take the exam (e.g., by diploma privilege, supplemental CLE-type requirements, licensing after some time working under another attorney).


Yea I know who wrote the article and that it’s an outside perspective. Hence why I asked how realistic the proposals are.....

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Re: Corona and the July Bar Exam

Postby LSATWiz.com » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:45 pm

It's all moot, because the COVID-19 pandemic will be officially over by Easter per the latest reports. While the science nerds wasted time experimenting with remdesivir and hydrochloroquine, it turned out all we needed to beat the China virus were chocolate eggs and Jesus.

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Re: Corona and the July Bar Exam

Postby QContinuum » Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:49 pm

Disclaimer: Complete speculation, zero inside info.

My gut sense: While it's very likely most states won't offer the July 2020 bar exam, it's very unlikely most states will simply waive the bar requirement altogether. There'd be huge resistance to this move from practicing attorneys. CA especially has a bunch of low/unranked/non-ABA law schools that routinely report bar passage rates well below 50%. CA isn't going to allow a horde of folks who'd never have passed the CA bar to become CA lawyers. Further, there are lots of folks who have vague aspirations of practicing in CA "some day". All of a sudden all of these grads, who never had any concrete plans to take the CA bar, would rush to become CA-barred to enhance their future flexibility. You might be able to take care of this issue by limiting diploma privilege to in-state law school grads, but you'd still be left with the problem of unqualified in-state grads, and you'd have howls of protest from natives who attended law school out of state, who'd now be effectively barred from returning to practice in their home state. And if you placate the natives by extending diploma privilege to them (despite having an out-of-state J.D.), then there's no defensible rationale for not also extending diploma privilege to their other out-of-state classmates. It's the same J.D., after all.

My opinion: States will likely loosen the rules governing law clerk practice, potentially up to permitting law clerks to practice law unsupervised (contingent on C&F) until after the next regular bar exam administration. It'd probably be akin to NY temporarily waiving the physician supervision requirement for PAs and NPs (which it just did in reality) - the PAs and NPs get to (temporarily) practice medicine unsupervised as de facto physicians, but don't get to actually call themselves physicians.

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Johnnybgoode92

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Re: Corona and the July Bar Exam

Postby Johnnybgoode92 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:18 pm

QContinuum wrote:Disclaimer: Complete speculation, zero inside info.

My gut sense: While it's very likely most states won't offer the July 2020 bar exam, it's very unlikely most states will simply waive the bar requirement altogether. There'd be huge resistance to this move from practicing attorneys. CA especially has a bunch of low/unranked/non-ABA law schools that routinely report bar passage rates well below 50%. CA isn't going to allow a horde of folks who'd never have passed the CA bar to become CA lawyers. Further, there are lots of folks who have vague aspirations of practicing in CA "some day". All of a sudden all of these grads, who never had any concrete plans to take the CA bar, would rush to become CA-barred to enhance their future flexibility. You might be able to take care of this issue by limiting diploma privilege to in-state law school grads, but you'd still be left with the problem of unqualified in-state grads, and you'd have howls of protest from natives who attended law school out of state, who'd now be effectively barred from returning to practice in their home state. And if you placate the natives by extending diploma privilege to them (despite having an out-of-state J.D.), then there's no defensible rationale for not also extending diploma privilege to their other out-of-state classmates. It's the same J.D., after all.

My opinion: States will likely loosen the rules governing law clerk practice, potentially up to permitting law clerks to practice law unsupervised (contingent on C&F) until after the next regular bar exam administration. It'd probably be akin to NY temporarily waiving the physician supervision requirement for PAs and NPs (which it just did in reality) - the PAs and NPs get to (temporarily) practice medicine unsupervised as de facto physicians, but don't get to actually call themselves physicians.


My dreams are drowning in despair. So they'd let people practice for almost a year or however long and then, while a 1st/2nd year associate, require them to study and take an exam? I don't know, I can see a situation where they throw their hands up, give people admission within their law school's state, and move on in a one time deal. class of 2020 will be viewed as an extreme exception.

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Re: Corona and the July Bar Exam

Postby LSATWiz.com » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:30 pm

Johnnybgoode92 wrote:
QContinuum wrote:Disclaimer: Complete speculation, zero inside info.

My gut sense: While it's very likely most states won't offer the July 2020 bar exam, it's very unlikely most states will simply waive the bar requirement altogether. There'd be huge resistance to this move from practicing attorneys. CA especially has a bunch of low/unranked/non-ABA law schools that routinely report bar passage rates well below 50%. CA isn't going to allow a horde of folks who'd never have passed the CA bar to become CA lawyers. Further, there are lots of folks who have vague aspirations of practicing in CA "some day". All of a sudden all of these grads, who never had any concrete plans to take the CA bar, would rush to become CA-barred to enhance their future flexibility. You might be able to take care of this issue by limiting diploma privilege to in-state law school grads, but you'd still be left with the problem of unqualified in-state grads, and you'd have howls of protest from natives who attended law school out of state, who'd now be effectively barred from returning to practice in their home state. And if you placate the natives by extending diploma privilege to them (despite having an out-of-state J.D.), then there's no defensible rationale for not also extending diploma privilege to their other out-of-state classmates. It's the same J.D., after all.

My opinion: States will likely loosen the rules governing law clerk practice, potentially up to permitting law clerks to practice law unsupervised (contingent on C&F) until after the next regular bar exam administration. It'd probably be akin to NY temporarily waiving the physician supervision requirement for PAs and NPs (which it just did in reality) - the PAs and NPs get to (temporarily) practice medicine unsupervised as de facto physicians, but don't get to actually call themselves physicians.


My dreams are drowning in despair. So they'd let people practice for almost a year or however long and then, while a 1st/2nd year associate, require them to study and take an exam? I don't know, I can see a situation where they throw their hands up, give people admission within their law school's state, and move on in a one time deal. class of 2020 will be viewed as an extreme exception.

That seems doubtful. The purpose of the bar exam is to ensure lawyers have a minimum level of competency. Like Character & Fitness, it's intended to protect the public. State bars aren't going to come out and say, "Caveat emptor if you hire a lawyer who graduated in 2020". I agree with QContinuum that they relax the law clerk requirements. It's also possible they come out with something with a shorter turnaround time.

For instance, let's say restrictions are removed in August. It's possible they come out and offer it in September. I think it's also possible they require you to get a COVID-19 test before you come to take the exam. Although that wouldn't guarantee you're not a carrier when you arrive, it would mitigate the risk. Of course, this all assumes that chocolate eggs and Easter worship won't alter the course of the virus. We don't have any medical data to suggest they won't.

Johnnybgoode92

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Re: Corona and the July Bar Exam

Postby Johnnybgoode92 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:35 pm

LSATWiz.com wrote:
Johnnybgoode92 wrote:
QContinuum wrote:Disclaimer: Complete speculation, zero inside info.

My gut sense: While it's very likely most states won't offer the July 2020 bar exam, it's very unlikely most states will simply waive the bar requirement altogether. There'd be huge resistance to this move from practicing attorneys. CA especially has a bunch of low/unranked/non-ABA law schools that routinely report bar passage rates well below 50%. CA isn't going to allow a horde of folks who'd never have passed the CA bar to become CA lawyers. Further, there are lots of folks who have vague aspirations of practicing in CA "some day". All of a sudden all of these grads, who never had any concrete plans to take the CA bar, would rush to become CA-barred to enhance their future flexibility. You might be able to take care of this issue by limiting diploma privilege to in-state law school grads, but you'd still be left with the problem of unqualified in-state grads, and you'd have howls of protest from natives who attended law school out of state, who'd now be effectively barred from returning to practice in their home state. And if you placate the natives by extending diploma privilege to them (despite having an out-of-state J.D.), then there's no defensible rationale for not also extending diploma privilege to their other out-of-state classmates. It's the same J.D., after all.

My opinion: States will likely loosen the rules governing law clerk practice, potentially up to permitting law clerks to practice law unsupervised (contingent on C&F) until after the next regular bar exam administration. It'd probably be akin to NY temporarily waiving the physician supervision requirement for PAs and NPs (which it just did in reality) - the PAs and NPs get to (temporarily) practice medicine unsupervised as de facto physicians, but don't get to actually call themselves physicians.


My dreams are drowning in despair. So they'd let people practice for almost a year or however long and then, while a 1st/2nd year associate, require them to study and take an exam? I don't know, I can see a situation where they throw their hands up, give people admission within their law school's state, and move on in a one time deal. class of 2020 will be viewed as an extreme exception.

That seems doubtful. The purpose of the bar exam is to ensure lawyers have a minimum level of competency. Like Character & Fitness, it's intended to protect the public. State bars aren't going to come out and say, "Caveat emptor if you hire a lawyer who graduated in 2020". I agree with QContinuum that they relax the law clerk requirements. It's also possible they come out with something with a shorter turnaround time.

For instance, let's say restrictions are removed in August. It's possible they come out and offer it in September. I think it's also possible they require you to get a COVID-19 test before you come to take the exam. Although that wouldn't guarantee you're not a carrier when you arrive, it would mitigate the risk. Of course, this all assumes that chocolate eggs and Easter worship won't alter the course of the virus. We don't have any medical data to suggest they won't.


How do WI and NH get away w it then? Both have sub par law schools by any reasonable estimation. How can WI admit every Marquette alum, almost all of whom have sub 160 lsats, yet Nebraska cannot?

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Re: Corona and the July Bar Exam

Postby nixy » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:04 pm

States get to govern their own bar admissions. Wisconsin decided at some point that the bar exam wasn’t necessary for people who attend in-state schools. But 49 other states haven’t agreed (NH’s exemption is only for students who complete a particular course of study at UNH, it’s not quite the same as WI). I agree that there are likely to be adjustments made - possibly holding a later exam or the like - but I also agree there’s no way states are going to bail on the requirement altogether.

(Also UNH, UW, and Marquette are fine. They’re not T14s, but they’re not joke schools.)

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Johnnybgoode92

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Re: Corona and the July Bar Exam

Postby Johnnybgoode92 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:12 pm

nixy wrote:States get to govern their own bar admissions. Wisconsin decided at some point that the bar exam wasn’t necessary for people who attend in-state schools. But 49 other states haven’t agreed (NH’s exemption is only for students who complete a particular course of study at UNH, it’s not quite the same as WI). I agree that there are likely to be adjustments made - possibly holding a later exam or the like - but I also agree there’s no way states are going to bail on the requirement altogether.

(Also UNH, UW, and Marquette are fine. They’re not T14s, but they’re not joke schools.)


Yep, and 49 states can decide tomorrow that they want to scrap the bar if they want. It is entirely their discretion.

Marquette’s lsat isn’t fine................ :roll:

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Re: Corona and the July Bar Exam

Postby nixy » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:14 pm

They could, but if they haven’t before now, there’s no reason to think they’re going to now. It’s not like WI’s bar privilege is new and the other states are adjusting to it.

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