The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of daily life, including how lawyers become lawyers. At least, that is what would happen under a new proposal by the Utah Supreme Court. The court recently ended public comments on a proposal about whether or not recent law school graduates should have to take the bar exam in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think this is the [Utah] Supreme Court’s way of making it way too easy to become a licensed attorney in Utah, which goes against everything the Utah State Bar has stood for,” says divorce attorney Emy A. Cordano.
This proposal would significantly alter how people become licensed attorneys in Utah. Under the proposal, law degree graduates from an American Bar Association-approved law school would be granted privilege if they have an exam success score of 86% or higher and graduated between May 1, 2019 – June 30th, 2020, and applied before April 1st, 2020. Potential lawyers who meet these qualifications would then have to serve 360 hours at a supervised legal practice.
Attorney Cordano told ABC 4 Utah that she sees no reason any candidate should get a free pass, stating, “The bar exam is the supreme test of whether or not you are going to make it as a lawyer in the courtroom.”
Attorney Cordano, who has her own firm, says she would not hire any 2020 graduates because she would not know that they were properly tried and tested.