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The push for an emergency diploma privilege in New York is picking up steam, with more than 300 law school professors joining the fray.

The professors on Tuesday sent a letter to New York State Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and several key state law makers endorsing a temporary diploma privilege that would allow law graduates to bypass the bar exam amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Their letter comes less than a week after the deans of all 15 American Bar Association-accredited law schools requested a diploma privilege. The court on July 16 announced that the planned in-person bar exam on Sept. 9 and 10 was canceled but did not provide alternative licensure plans beyond the extension of a program in which law gradates may practice under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

“We commend the Court of Appeals for responding to this unprecedented crisis by canceling the in-person bar exam scheduled for September,” reads the letter from the law professors. “But because the Court has not yet decided what will replace the canceled exam, 2020 law school graduates and others who planned to sit for the September bar are now in an extremely difficult position.”

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Karen Sloan

Karen Sloan is the Legal Education Editor and Senior Writer at ALM. Contact her at [email protected] On Twitter: @KarenSloanNLJ Sign up for Ahead of the Curve—her weekly email update on trends and innovation in legal education—here: https://www.law.com/briefings/ahead-of-the-curve/

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