Journal Title

Journal of Legal Education





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Beginning in 2026, law school graduates will be sitting for a bar exam-the so-called NexGen bar exam-that is both substantively and structurally different from the one administered across the country since most attorneys can remember-the so-called "existing bar exam" – and since the founding of the National Conference of Bar Examiner (NCBE), in 1931.

Unfortunately, the legal academy is not known as agile; to the contrary, it is often viewed as an institution steeped in tradition, rites of passage, and deliberation. While its reliability and measured approach have certainly contributed to its success and stability since the founding of the Juris Doctorate degree in the early 1900s, at moments like this, the legal academy's stability also serves as its Achilles' heel. Legal education is faced with an industry-changing event: the complete revamping of the licensing exam law school graduates must complete to use their hard-earned J.D. to practice law. What is not known is what law schools will do in response to this news; that is, how law schools will make adjustments to prepare students who will walk the halls starting in the fall of 2022.

Recommended Citation

Melissa Bezanson Shultz, Professor, Please Help Me Pass the Bar Exam: #NextGenBar2026, 71 J. Legal Educ. 141 (2021).



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