A thousand students from all 15 New York law schools and from out-of-state institutions sent a letter Thursday to a state task force on the exam, saying that the class of 2020 should be granted an “emergency diploma privilege” in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the New York Law Journal reports.
The pass would balance any impact the pandemic had on their ability to study due to health or family issues, they argued.
“An emergency diploma privilege would entail granting a license to practice law to each person graduating from an accredited law school in December 2019 or May 2020,” the letter reads.
“We understand the importance of the bar examination as a method for measuring legal competencies. However, we do not believe that our careers should be put on hold in these circumstances. We must begin the hard work of rebuilding the lives of our friends, families, and neighbors through upholding the rule of law and fighting for justice.”
The New York State Bar Association’s bar exam task force convened on Monday on an “emergency basis” to consider whether or not the July exam can be administered, according to a news release.
State Bar president Henry Greenberg told the Law Journal that granting the emergency diploma privilege to graduating law students is on the table.