“Not only would this raise justifiable concerns about their competence to practice law when they were doing so, but it also would create the problem of nascent law practices having suddenly to close shop”
Would you even consider hiring a lawyer who hasn’t passed the bar exam? Have these students thought about this question?
The Harvard Crimson reports:
Harvard Law Students Call for Automatic Bar Admission, Citing Racial and Economic Disparity
Harvard Law School students joined peers from law schools across the state in a letter urging the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to replace the 2020 bar exam with an automatic admission option — a request the court subsequently denied.
The students’ July 10 letter asked the court to consider an “emergency diploma privilege plus” strategy, which would license law school graduates without requiring the bar examination. Currently, the court plans to administer a delayed online exam on October 5 and 6 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The letter received over 650 signatures from students and members of the legal community, including Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins and the deans of all accredited law schools in Massachusetts except Harvard. Two retired Associate Justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court also signed the letter in support.
Law School Dean John F. Manning ’82 previously wrote to the court alongside eight other law school deans in a series of letters dating from April 15 to July 8. Those letters requested the adoption of a temporary practice authority that would allow graduates to begin working in the legal field despite testing delays.
The court also rebuffed that proposal, citing concerns about allowing graduates to practice law only for them to fail the exam in the future.
“Not only would this raise justifiable concerns about their competence to practice law when they were doing so, but it also would create the problem of nascent law practices having suddenly to close shop, potentially leaving clients in the lurch,” Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants wrote in a July 13 response.
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