Los Angeles Big Law

COVID-19... Curious what LA BigLaw thinks about the possibility of Diploma Privilege or a postponed bar exam here in CA? NY decided to postpone despite significant potential consequences (see thread)

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Arguments against postponement: - Delayed licensing will result in a shortage of attorneys at a time when legal services will be in high demand (employment, evictions, restructuring, immigration, etc) - Postponement simply kicks the can further down the road. Likely we will face a second or even third wave up COVID cases in the fall. Could end up in the same situation all over again. - Firms will likely have to accommodate a later start date, which means many students will not be able to afford living in major markets for the duration of summer while they prepare for the bar.

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I keep hearing that there will be a shortage of attorneys if recent grads can’t take the bar exam as normally scheduled but there is no evidence to support that. There are tons of experienced and junior attorneys without jobs. Allowing non licensed grads to practice under a diploma privilege program will drive down the salaries for attorneys who would normally fill entry level or contract roles- hurting licensed attorneys and non licensed grads equally. More importantly, CA has such a low pass rate that there is a 50% chance the grad seeking diploma privilege wouldn’t have even passed the bar exam if offered. So while unfortunate that there may be some delays - grads should do we have always done while waiting for admission- work as law clerks, public interest or legal aid positions.

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