Nonstandard Materials: The More You Know…
October 26, 2021 • Virtual Event
This 90-minute webinar focused on the three types of nonstandard materials for accommodated candidates: “standard” nonstandard materials (Braille, large-print versions, audio, and Microsoft Word documents for the written portion of the exam for use with screen-reading software), custom materials, and a USB exam for an individual candidate’s device. NCBE Testing Operations staff relayed vital information on similarities and differences among these types of nonstandard materials, production processes, deadlines, and other considerations when ordering and administering nonstandard materials.
2021 CBAA Fall Meeting
November 4–7, 2021 | Boston, Massachusetts
The Council of Bar Admission Administrators (CBAA) held its Fall Meeting at the Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 4–7, 2021. Thirty-seven jurisdictions were represented by 78 attendees.
Attendees were welcomed to the meeting on Friday morning by CBAA Chair Bradley Skolnik of Indiana. On Saturday morning, NCBE President and CEO Judith Gundersen and NCBE Board of Trustees chair Suzanne K. Richards of Ohio addressed attendees and informed them about ongoing activities and initiatives at NCBE and other developments of interest to the bar admissions community.
Eleven of the CBAA committees met throughout Friday morning and early afternoon, during which a wide variety of issues were discussed; the twelfth committee, the newly formed CBAA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, held a plenary session on Saturday morning.
Four plenary sessions were presented on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning:
COVID Planning for the In-Person Exam
Two sessions addressing the practical and logistical challenges that jurisdictions would confront in administering in-person bar examinations in February 2022.
Part I: Precautions and Logistics
Speakers: Andrea Spillars, Executive Director, Missouri Board of Law Examiners; Troy Wood, Regulatory Counsel, Oregon State Bar; Emily Eschweiler, Executive Director, Minnesota Board of Law Examiners
Part II: Communication Strategies
Speakers: Michele Gavagni, Executive Director, Florida Board of Bar Examiners; Nahdiah Hoang, Executive Director, Texas Board of Law Examiners; Natasha Melchionne, Managing Attorney, Minnesota State Board of Continuing Legal Education
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee: Introduction, Goals, and How it Relates to the Work We Do
A session to introduce attendees to the newly formed CBAA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, whose primary objective is to develop tangible resources for administrators to use in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all stages of the bar admissions process.
Speakers: Ellie LeBlanc, Program Manager of Admissions, Iowa Supreme Court Office of Professional Regulation; Sherry Hieber, General Counsel, New Hampshire Supreme Court Office of Bar Admissions; Wadner Oge, Staff Attorney, Counsel for Admissions and Character & Fitness, Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners; Shela Shanks, Director, Committee on Admissions & Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law, District of Columbia Court of Appeals; Keith Wilkinson, Assistant Director of Character and Fitness, State Bar of Michigan; Daniel Saar, Director of Admissions, Iowa Supreme Court Office of Professional Regulation
Character and Fitness: Current and Emerging Legal Issues
A session offering attendees an in-depth look at current and emerging trends in character and fitness, including recent developments.
Marijuana, Attorney Ethics, and Lessons for Character & Fitness Analysis
Speaker: Margaret Funk, Chief Deputy Regulation Counsel, Colorado Supreme Court
Character & Fitness Investigations: Fundamentals of Title IX
Speaker: Monica Shah, Partner, Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP
2021 CBAA Fall Meeting in Photos
UBE Jurisdictions Forum
January 21, 2022 • Virtual Event
This full-day program for Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) jurisdictions focused on the transition to the next generation of the bar exam, whose first administration is tentatively planned for 2026. The program began with an overview of the new exam, including a summary of the three phases of the Testing Task Force’s comprehensive three-year study to ensure that the bar exam continues to test the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for competent entry-level legal practice in a changing profession; the Task Force’s resulting recommendations; the work of the Implementation Steering Committee, charged with general oversight of the implementation of the new exam and ensuring fidelity of the Task Force study’s findings and recommendations; and principles of fairness in testing that will continue to be essential elements of NCBE exams.
Subsequent sessions focused on the content, structure, and scope of coverage of the new exam; administration of the new exam; grading and scoring; and how best to transition to the new exam, focusing on the needs of courts, bar admission offices, candidates, and law schools. Each of the sessions ended with an open question and answer period, and the forum closed with a session on next steps and continued opportunities for participants to collaborate in the development of and transition to the new exam.
- Beth Donahue, NCBE Senior Assessment Design Specialist
- Kellie Early, NCBE Chief Strategy Officer
- Beth Hill, NCBE Director of Test Development, Operations, and Security
- Hon. Cynthia L. Martin, Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District; former chair of NCBE’s Board of Trustees; chair of NCBE’s Testing Task Force, January 2018 to January 2021; chair of NCBE’s Implementation Steering Committee
- Danette McKinley, PhD, NCBE Director of Diversity, Fairness, and Inclusion Research
Sonja Olson, NCBE MEE/MPT Program Director
- Rosemary Reshetar, EdD, NCBE Director of Assessment and Research
- Marilyn Wellington, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners; member of NCBE’s Board of Trustees; chair of NCBE’s Uniform Bar Examination Committee