The California Supreme Court and the State Bar are now accepting applications for their joint Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of the California Bar Exam, it was announced Tuesday.

The commission, anticipated to have 15 to 20 members, will develop recommendations concerning whether and what changes to make to the California Bar Exam, and whether to adopt alternative or additional testing or tools to ensure minimum competence to practice law.

The commission will explore issues to ensure that the exam is an effective tool for determining whether applicants are prepared to practice law ethically and competently at a level appropriate for an entry-level attorney.

“The State Bar is pleased to be moving forward with the California Supreme Court on the first steps to enable a collaborative, deliberative process designed to take a comprehensive look at the future of the California Bar Exam,” said Donna Hershkowitz, interim executive director. “We encourage applications from the diverse stakeholder groups who will form the commission, and we look forward to presenting candidates for the Supreme Court’s consideration before the end of the year.”

The commission will include members representing various stakeholders in the legal community and other related disciplines, including:

— members of the California Lawyers Association, at least one of whom shall be a lawyer who took the bar exam within the past three years;

— law school deans or faculty;

— judges, active or retired;

— a national expert on examination development or grading;

— an expert on online testing software, security, and privacy evaluation;

— a representative of the California Department of Consumer Affairs;

— former members of the California Attorney Practice Analysis Working Group; and

— members of the Committee of Bar Examiners, NCBE Testing Task Force, Council on Access and Fairness, and the Board of Trustees.

Applications will be accepted by the State Bar through Nov. 30. The Supreme Court will make final appointment decisions.

The commission is expected to convene its first meeting in January and complete its work in about 12 months.

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