Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: . . ; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.


“You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. “But it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all."


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About the Conference

Each year, BYU Law School invites leaders on an issue of current importance to discuss how we might change the world for the better using our legal education. Following the historic decision by several states, including Utah, to adopt an emergency diploma privilege in the summer of 2020 and recognizing the known racial, gender, and other biases present in traditional bar examinations, this year’s topic is “Paths to Bar Licensure.” In 2020, a pandemic and global racial upheaval have combined to trigger a reconsideration of bar examinations as the gateway to licensure. In this conference, we will examine the features and shortcomings of the bar examination and other potential paths to bar licensure.

Conference Schedule

9:00 Registration
9:30 Welcome:

Dean Gordon Smith, BYU Law School

  Morning Keynote Address:

Joan Howarth, Interim Associate Dean for Experiential Legal Education and Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law, “A Short History of Attorney Licensing: Tales of Protection, Prestige, Exclusion, & Good Faith”

10:30 Break
10:45 Panel: Examining the Bar Examination

Andrea A. Curcio, Professor of Law, Georgia State University, College of Law

Marsha Griggs, Associate Professor of Law and Director of Academic Support and Bar Passage, Washburn University School of Law

Victor D. Quintanilla, Professor of Law and Val Nolan Faculty Fellow, Indiana University Bloomington, Maurer School of Law

12:00 Break
1:00 Afternoon Keynote Address:

Deborah Jones Merritt, Distinguished University Professor and John Deaver Drinko-Baker & Hostetler Chair in Law, The Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law, “Designing an Evidence Based Licensing System”

2:00 Break
2:15 Panel: Alternatives to the Bar Examination:

Megan Carpenter, Dean, University of New Hampshire, Franklin Pierce School of Law

Ian Holloway, Dean, University of Calgary Faculty of Law

Eileen Kaufman, Professor Emerita, Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Kevin Kelly, Associate Dean of Student & Academic Affairs, University of Wisconsin Law School

3:00 Break
3:15 Panel: Utah’s Emergency Diploma Privilege and Supervised Practice

Catherine Bramble (moderator)

Student + Supervisor (Haley + Susan)



4:15 Concluding Remarks:

Dean Gordon Smith, BYU Law School