Editor’s note: This is the first installment in a series called “The True Test: How COVID Is Changing the Course of Legal Education,” which examines how the pandemic is reshaping the way lawyers are trained and licensed. Join us on Twitter Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. EST, where a panel of experts will be sharing their thoughts on what’s next for law schools, at #FutureofLegalEd. 

Joan Howarth began researching attorney licensing and efficacy of the bar exam back in the 1990s, but for decades it was lonely work. A handful of fellow legal academics joined her in critiquing the long-standing and little-changed lawyer licensing test and offering ideas for reform over the years, but their proposals fell flat with the bar examiners and state supreme courts that control the attorney admission process.