Working at a Fort Wayne law firm before enrolling in law school, Julia Kosnik saw the benefit of being able to help clients across state lines from a partner who was licensed in both Indiana and Michigan.

Dual licensure appeals to Kosnik because she has a connection to Fort Wayne, having attended high school there, as well as strong family ties to Michigan. But as she completes her second year at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, she is having to decide on which side of the state line she will sit for the bar in July 2021.

“It would be so much easier if I could take the (Uniform Bar Exam) and practice in both states,” Kosnik said. “I’m hoping they move in that direction.”

Kosnik is not the only one hoping Indiana jumps on the UBE wave. The Study Commission on the Future of the Indiana Bar Exam heard from many law students, most advocating for the adoption of the national test, according to the commission’s vice chair, Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Nancy Vaidik. Like Kosnik, the students cite the ability to take one bar and be able to practice in 36 different states.

The commission was convinced and has recommended to the Indiana Supreme Court that the Hoosier state adopt the UBE. It was not the only suggestion offered, but after a 12-month evaluation of the Indiana Bar Exam, the commission concluded switching to the national test would reduce the “cognitive overload” placed on examinees by the high number of legal topics they currently have to study, and would give Indiana law school graduates more options in deciding where to take that first job.

During its review of the Indiana Bar Exam, the commission requested input from the more than 18,000 active attorneys in the state. Only 190 replies were returned, which has led Vaidik and retired Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepard, chair of the commission, to expect little pushback on the report’s recommendations.

“I don’t expect an uproar over this,” Vaidik said. Hawkins Entering the job market

Lake Superior Judge Calvin Hawkins was a member of the Indiana Board of […]

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