More than 1,000 students have signed a letter requesting a diploma privilege system in New York that would allow them to practice without sitting for the July bar exam—which is looking increasingly unlikely to take place as planned due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The letter, sent Thursday to the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on the New York Bar Examination, argues that an emergency diploma privilege is the most effective way to ensure the flow of new lawyers into the profession who can help alleviate access to justice issues. Moreover, the letter says that quick adoption of an emergency diploma privilege system would help to ameliorate the stress and anxiety third-year law students are feeling about their career prospects.

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