The NCBE's Wrong-Headed Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

20 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2020 Last revised: 6 May 2020

See all articles by Michael S. Ariens

Michael S. Ariens

St. Mary's University School of Law

Date Written: April 28, 2020


The NCBE issued a White Paper in early April 2020 attacking proposals to admit 2020 graduates of law schools through a diploma privilege with some additional requirement of supervised practice hours. Its justifications are both self-serving and inconsistent. In an unprecedented time, the NCBE chose to protect its monopoly position in providing bar examination products rather than the 2020 bar applicants upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its claim to protect the public from the licensing of "incompetent" bar applicants rings hollow. Because the legal profession is wedded to the status quo in licensing of new lawyers, the NCBE will likely survive the threat to its existence delivered by the pandemic. But its claims should not go unanswered.

Keywords: bar examination, NCBE, July 2020 bar examination, legal education, COVID-19, pandemic, legal profession

Suggested Citation

Ariens, Michael S., The NCBE's Wrong-Headed Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 28, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Michael S. Ariens (Contact Author)

St. Mary's University School of Law ( email )

One Camino Santa Maria
San Antonio, TX 78228-8602
United States

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