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Examination hall. Credit:bibiphoto/Shutterstock.com

Changes to traditional processes are often met with skepticism, criticism and a task force report that ends up sitting on a shelf. COVID-19 required many to take immediate action to change processes and practice, and it presented an unexpected opportunity—to increase access to the profession.

The 2020 online bar exam resulted in improved pass rates across the country. Applicants to law school increased by 31% last year, according to data from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), which administers the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and manages the law school admissions process. Asian applicants have increased by 16%, Black applicants by 26%, Indigenous applicants by 24%, Latinx applicants by 27%, and White applicants by 22%. Some believe a national focus on systemic racism has helped drive the increased diversity.

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