The Testing Task Force
In January 2018, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) appointed a Testing Task Force charged with undertaking a three-year study to ensure that the bar examination continues to test the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for competent entry-level legal practice in the 21st century. The study is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020. The Testing Task Force’s study will be:
Comprehensive. The study will identify core competencies for newly licensed lawyers and explore when and how those competencies should be assessed.
Future-focused. The study will help ensure that the assessment of core legal competencies keeps pace with a rapidly evolving legal profession.
Collaborative. The Task Force will solicit input from state bar admitting authorities, legal educators, and legal professionals, recognizing a shared objective of ensuring the protection of the public and the readiness of new lawyers to join the profession.
Empirical. The study will be supported by research and review conducted by independent professionals with relevant technical expertise.
Transparent. The Task Force will welcome feedback and share updates on its website as the study progresses.
The beginning of 2018 has been a busy and exciting time for the Testing Task Force. Members of the Task Force, together with internal and external experts, are currently reviewing research proposals from independent consulting organizations; the Task Force expects to select a consultant and finalize a research plan
What does it mean to launch a comprehensive, future-focused study of the bar exam? For the Testing Task Force, it means—among other things—taking the time to consider some fundamental questions as we begin our work. What, at minimum, do new lawyers need to know and be able to do