Harvard Law students are asking school administrators to help them obtain law licenses without having to take the bar exam, citing the CCP virus pandemic.
In an April 2 letter, nearly 200 law students set to graduate this year asked Harvard Law School to publicly support "emergency diploma privilege" which would allow them to practice law without taking the bar exam. They also urged school administrators to send a statement supporting the privilege to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, which announced last week that the state bar would be postponed to a to-be-determined date in the fall.
The states' decision came after the National Conference of Bar Examiners, which develops the test, offered a separate exam this fall for jurisdictions that cancelled or delayed their exams scheduled for July amid the ongoing pandemic. The letter alleged that postponing the test would disproportionately affect minority students.
"Just as our colleagues in medical schools have been called upon to join the front lines fighting COVID-19, so too are attorneys needed to fight for the rights of individuals most affected by this pandemic," the letter read.
Law students from other jurisdictions that use the Uniform Bar Exam have also sent open letters to bar examiners, urging them to grant emergency diploma privileges. In New York, approximately 1,000 students from 15 law schools sent a letter on March 26 to the State Bar of New York’s Task Force on the New York Bar Examination, which dismissed their demand.