November 7–10, 2019 | Mirage Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
The Council of Bar Admission Administrators (CBAA) held its Fall Meeting at the Mirage Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 7–10, 2019. Forty-one jurisdictions were represented by 104 attendees.
Attendees were welcomed to the meeting on Friday morning by CBAA Chair Kathleen Harrington of Connecticut. On Saturday morning, NCBE President and CEO Judith Gundersen addressed attendees and informed them about ongoing activities and initiatives at NCBE and other developments of interest to the bar admissions community.
The 11 CBAA committees met throughout Friday morning and early afternoon, during which a wide variety of issues were discussed—from current and emerging issues in testing accommodations, to technologies for sustainable record management, to ensuring the consistency and integrity of exam administration.
Four plenary sessions were presented on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning:
Immigration, DACA, and Bar Admissions
What should bar admissions authorities know about immigration law? The owner and managing attorney of an immigration law firm discussed many aspects of immigration law, including different categories of immigrants, nonimmigrant and immigrant visa challenges, and changes in the status of those in the United States as refugees, TPS (temporary protected status), and DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals, or “dreamers”).
She explained the difficulties presented by lack of legal immigration status, including ineligibility for Social Security number, driver’s license, or ID card; decreased access to college and ineligibility for financial aid; and ineligibility for professional licensure.
Next, she gave details about federal and state law governing professional licensing for immigrants, including states that explicitly allow individuals with employment authorization to be admitted as lawyers and states that explicitly admit undocumented and/or DACA applicants.
Her presentation concluded with recommendations as to steps that bar admissions authorities can take when dealing with immigration issues.
(Speakers: Angela Adams, Owner/Managing Attorney, Adams Immigration Law, LLC; Michele Gavagni, NCBE Immediate Past Chair and Executive Director, Florida Board of Bar Examiners)
A Bar Exam in Three Acts: An Interactive Drama
Possible issues that could arise during a bar exam administration were brought to life in an engaging way in this novel presentation. From cheating, to prohibited items in the testing room, to adverse testing conditions, this interactive drama inspired discussion among audience members about how to (or how not to) address a variety of possible test day irregularities.
(Producers and narrators: Maureen Ryan Braley, Director of Admissions, Idaho State Bar; Jacquelynn Rothstein, Director, Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners; performers: Justin Aday, Christine Kenefick, Sophie Martin, Daniel Saar, Bradley Skolnik)
Evaluating Addiction Issues
A medical doctor and director of a state physician health program reviewed recent literature on the prevalence of addiction among attorneys, the reasons for that prevalence, and the barriers to seeking help.
She provided a brief review of the brain disease of addiction and underscored the very high likelihood that each listener, no matter where he or she works, will at some time in his or her career come across someone who suffers from alcoholism, drug addiction, or some type of impairment. She explained how to recognize the signs, symptoms, and impacts of these illnesses and discussed intervention strategies, responses to intervention, and options for assessment.
The presentation concluded with a detailed explanation of treatment options and relapse prevention.
(Speaker: Doris Gundersen, MD, Medical Director, Colorado Physician Health Program)
Bar Examiner Online
As part of NCBE’s ongoing effort to maximize the usefulness of this publication and its website to the bar admissions community, two bar administrators, both members of NCBE’s Editorial Advisory Committee, asked for feedback from CBAA members to ensure that the magazine’s content remains relevant and to increase engagement with the magazine. CBAA members were encouraged to consider, for instance, questions they have repeatedly been asked, myths or misconceptions they repeatedly hear, and any new topics they would like the magazine to cover.
(Speakers: Sherry Hieber, General Counsel, New Hampshire Supreme Court Office of Bar Admissions; Sophie Martin, Executive Director, New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners)
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