New York law students should be granted a form of diploma privilege to become practicing attorneys after the state bar examination scheduled for September was canceled.
Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Jo Ann Simon backed the legislation that would apply to law school graduates for the duration of the declared state of emergency for the coronavirus pandemic.
“The 2020 New York Bar Exam has become a rolling disaster for law school graduates. The simplest and most equitable solution is providing graduates with diploma privilege," the lawmakers said in a statement.
“Further delays in admitting this year’s class of aspiring attorneys to practice law will disadvantage graduates from low-income households who cannot afford an extra month or more without income, and hurt graduates who are caretakers of children or elderly parents. The chaos and lack of clarity will have a devastating financial impact on those attempting to begin their careers as legal professionals.”
Washington state, Oregon and Utah have already approved similar measures for 2020 law school graduates.
State court officials and the New York State Bar Association on Thursday said they were working toward finding ways of potentially administering the examination safely in order to prevent the spread of the virus.