Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Washington Is the Second State to Adopt a Diploma Privilege. Is the NCBE Worried that Other States Will Follow?

Washington state has become the second jurisdiction to adopt an emergency diploma privilege amid the COVID pandemic, allowing law graduates from an ABA accredited law school & are currently registered in Washington to skip the bar exam, including repeat takers. The exam will be held in July & September for those who do not qualify. It's a "temporary" order, so next year's prospective bar members would still have to take the bar; but it looks like anyone who qualifies this year will get permanent Washington bar membership status. This sort of "diploma privilege" had also long been available in Wisconsin, but only to graduates of the Wisconsin law schools (University of Wisconsin and Marquette); this is open to graduates of all ABA-accredited law schools. In addition, Utah has also granted a diploma privilege with qualified candidates who have submitted an application to take the Utah bar exam on or before April 1, 2020; must have graduated from a law school with an overall first-time passage rater of 86% or greater in 2019.

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