The People’s Parity Project is proud to join more than 120 fellow public interest organizations in supporting diploma privilege as the only safe and equitable remedy to state bar examinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Led by the Public Rights Project, a coalition of 126 public interest organizations issued a public letter to the National Board of Bar Examiners and 34 state boards overseeing their bar examinations in response to the ongoing problems and systematic unfairness resulting from efforts to administer the bar exam during a global pandemic. Due to the demonstrated inability of state bars to respond to this crisis effectively or equitably, the broad coalition representing civil rights, legal services, and national advocacy organizations called for these licensing bodies to provide diploma privilege to recent law school graduates in lieu of the exam.
“Our legal profession suffers from a shocking lack of diversity,” said LiJia Gong, Counsel at Public Rights Project and a member of the People’s Parity Project’s Board of Directors. “Administering the bar exam during a pandemic only exaggerates inequities inherent in the system. Offering diploma privilege now is a small step toward ensuring that more lawyers admitted to the bar reflect the communities they will serve. Given the grave needs of many marginalized communities during this economic crisis, especially when it comes to legal services and access to justice, diploma privilege now is a fair and appropriate response to the moment.”