Allowing this year’s law graduates to skip the bar exam amid the coronavirus pandemic risks unleashing unqualified new lawyers on the public and hobbling law school accreditation efforts, according to the group that designs the test.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners is pushing back against calls for emergency diploma privileges in a white paper released April 9 to courts and state bar examiners, arguing that the licensing exam ensures new lawyers meet a minimum standard of competence and should not be elbowed aside because of the virus outbreak.

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