The Bar Exam and the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need for Immediate Action

9 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2020

See all articles by Claudia Angelos

Claudia Angelos

New York University (NYU)

Sara Berman

AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence

Mary Lu Bilek

CUNY School of Law

Carol L. Chomsky

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law

Andrea Anne Curcio

Georgia State University - College of Law

Marsha Griggs

Washburn School of Law

Joan W. Howarth

William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV; Michigan State University College of Law

Eileen R. Kaufman

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Deborah Jones Merritt

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Patricia Salkin

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Judith W. Wegner

University of North Carolina School of Law

Date Written: March 22, 2020

Abstract

The 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.

Keywords: licensing, bar exam, coronavirus

JEL Classification: K00, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Angelos, Claudia and Berman, Sara and Bilek, Mary Lu and Chomsky, Carol L. and Curcio, Andrea Anne and Griggs, Marsha and Howarth, Joan W. and Kaufman, Eileen R. and Merritt, Deborah Jones and Salkin, Patricia E. and Wegner, Judith W., The Bar Exam and the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Need for Immediate Action (March 22, 2020). Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 537 (2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3559060 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3559060

Claudia Angelos

New York University (NYU) ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

Sara Berman

AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence ( email )

440 First Street
#550
Washington, DC, DC 20001
United States

Mary Lu Bilek

CUNY School of Law ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States

Carol L. Chomsky

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Andrea Anne Curcio

Georgia State University - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

Marsha Griggs

Washburn School of Law ( email )

1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621
United States

Joan W. Howarth

William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV ( email )

4505 South Maryland Parkway
Box 451003
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States

Michigan State University College of Law ( email )

318 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
United States

Eileen R. Kaufman

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center ( email )

225 Eastview Drive
Central Islip, NY 11722
United States

Deborah Jones Merritt (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States
614-247-7933 (Phone)
614-292-4868 (Fax)

Patricia E. Salkin

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center ( email )

225 Eastview Drive
Central Islip, NY 11722
United States

Judith W. Wegner

University of North Carolina School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States
919-962-4113 (Phone)

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