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D.C. Activism

PRESS RELEASE: DP4DC Statement on New Rules from D.C. Court of Appeals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: [email protected]

Earlier today, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued a new order establishing rules for temporary licensure and emergency exam-waiver admission (popularly known as “diploma privilege”) in response to a petition from Diploma Privilege for the District of Columbia (DP4DC).

DP4DC thanks all of our fellow applicants, family, friends, and supporters throughout the legal community for their support and advocacy through this tumultuous summer. We are especially grateful to those of you who signed on to our petition or commented in support of our petition during the public comment period. Our mission, from the very beginning, has been singular: to petition the D.C. Court of Appeals to grant diploma privilege to all 2020 applicants to the D.C. bar in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on our society. Sadly, we did not fully succeed in that mission. The court’s order today provides for a small, narrow, restricted version of diploma privilege that excludes the vast majority of those we were advocating for. In our analysis of the order, we note the following:

Categories
D.C. Activism

Court of Appeals to Decide on Diploma Privilege by September 28

Earlier today, the D.C. Court of Appeals issued an order promising “emergency rules,” to be promulgated by September 28, that will expand D.C.’s temporary supervised practice program and “potentially” provide for diploma privilege for “certain qualifying applicants.” The order also extends the withdrawal deadline for the October exam from today to September 30.

Categories
D.C. Activism

October Exam Headed for Technological Disaster

Earlier today, we learned that Extegrity, the developers of Exam4 and one of three approved remote proctoring vendors, announced that it would withdraw from the online October bar exam. Extegrity wrote, “[I]t is plain that remote proctoring was not envisioned for use on large-scale, simultaneous-start ‘event’ exams. With four synchronized starts, thousands of examinees, and very-high stakes, we believe remote proctoring carries undue risk for the October exam.”

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D.C. Activism

PRESS RELEASE: DC Opens Public Comment Period on Diploma Privilege After DP4DC Advocacy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: [email protected]

In response to our petition, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals announced on Wednesday that it would receive public comments on the issue of diploma privilege. Interested parties are encouraged to submit comments directly to the court by August 12th. Parties may submit comments by emailing [email protected] or mailing a letter directly to the court. Please see the attached notice for more information.

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National

Louisiana Grants Diploma Privilege, Wisely Following Washington, Oregon & Utah

Earlier today, Louisiana became the fourth jurisdiction to grant emergency COVID-19 diploma privilege, wisely following in the footsteps of Utah, Washington, and Oregon. These four states rejoin Wisconsin and New Hampshire, both of which have long offered diploma privilege, once the national standard for bar admission.

Categories
D.C. Activism

PRESS RELEASE: DP4DC Files Petition with D.C. Court of Appeals Advocating for Diploma Privilege with 1,100 Supporters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Contact: [email protected]

Earlier today Diploma Privilege for the District of Columbia (DP4DC) submitted a petition to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals asking the Court to amend its requirements for admission to the DC Bar to include licensure by emergency diploma privilege for all applicants registered for the October 2020 DC Bar Exam in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The petition, drafted by applicants to the Bar, was signed by over 1,100 people, including licensed attorneys in DC, law students, and professors from law schools across the country. The petition follows a letter in support of diploma privilege from the Deans of all seven DC-area law schools. 

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National

Law Graduates Languish, Beg for Charity in the Face of Delayed Exams

Two days ago, @LadyLawyerDiary put out a call on Twitter:

Law school graduates are a highly educated, highly accomplished crowd. All law school graduates hold undergraduate and graduate degrees and have completed years of legal training. Many hold other master’s and doctoral degrees in addition to their law degrees. Many have important jobs awaiting them. Many have high-paying jobs awaiting them.

Yet, this year, these bright, young future lawyers have been reduced to begging for money from practicing attorneys. And their pleas are far from frivolous.

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D.C. Activism

DP4DC Seeking Signatures for New Petition to D.C. Court of Appeals

Earlier today, we drafted and circulated a petition that advocates for diploma privilege, and we are seeking signatures from supporters of diploma privilege. To sign the petition, please visit dp4dc.org/petition.

Categories
D.C. Activism

Impact Statements Pour in as Law Grads Face October Exam

Yesterday, we put out a call for impact statements, to understand how the months-delayed, online exam will affect those seeking admission to the D.C. bar. In a matter of minutes, statements from recent graduates who plan to take the October exam began to pour in.

Many members of Georgetown Law’s class of 2020 wrote in about the tremendous financial burden of the seemingly ever-more-delayed bar exam. Requesting anonymity, one Georgetown grad wrote, “I took out a bar loan that will run out before the bar happens . . . My family can’t afford to support me, and I’m basically using my loan for rent and living on credit cards at this point. Granting diploma privilege would mean that I could start the job that I already have lined up.”

Categories
D.C. Activism

NCBE Bans D.C. Examinees from Other Jurisdictions’ UBEs

Earlier today, the D.C. Committee on Admissions (COA) updated its Fall Bar Exam FAQs with a troubling and perplexing series of questions and answers. Taken together, they state that an examinee cannot sit for both D.C.’s October exam and the July or September Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) in another jurisdiction because of copyright restrictions imposed by the NCBE. The move further calls into question the reliability of the October exam.