NEW YORK -- State Senator Brad Hoylman (D/WF-Manhattan) and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon (D/WF-Brooklyn) announced today that they are launching a new survey seeking feedback from law graduates taking the New York Online Bar Exam on October 5 and 6, 2020. Senator Hoylman and Assemblymember Simon will use the responses gathered to flag issues with the exam and inform future policy proposals regarding the administration of the exam and alternate pathways to attorney admission.
Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon issued the following statement:
“After months of delays and compounding issues about the accessibility, security, and equity of an online bar exam, we remain gravely concerned about next week’s New York Bar Exam. While we still believe that the most equitable solution to the challenges facing law graduates is the granting of diploma privilege, we also have to respond to the impending administration of the online bar exam and ensure there is a record of what works and what doesn’t.
“These are uncertain times for all of us, especially the recent graduates who will be taking the exam, many of whom are saddled with debt and watching their job prospects vanish. It’s important to center the needs of these new attorneys, listen to their feedback, and for the New York State Board of Law Examiners to respond accordingly. After they finish the bar exam, we encourage test takers to go to bit.ly/BarUserSurvey to let us know how it goes.”
The New York Bar Exam is normally held twice a year, in February and July. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two day, in-person exam originally scheduled for July was postponed until September, then cancelled and replaced with an online exam currently scheduled for October 5-6.
Senator Hoylman and Assemblymember Simon are sponsors of legislation (S.8682-A/A.10794 and S.8827-A/A.10846) to create a form of diploma privilege during the COVID-19 State of Emergency to allow admission of law school graduates as attorneys in New York without having to take the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE).