The Testing Task Force is pleased to announce that it has selected two independent research consulting firms—ACS Ventures, LLC, and American Institutes for Research (AIR)—to support its comprehensive, future-focused study of the bar examination. Although a detailed research plan is still being developed in consultation with ACS and AIR, broadly speaking the study will proceed in phases, with each successive phase building on the previous ones.

Initially, the study will focus on assessing the current bar examination and gathering stakeholder feedback both about the bar examination and about changes and trends taking place in the profession. The results of this research will help inform the next phase of the study, a future-focused practice analysis to identify the job activities of newly licensed lawyers and the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform them. Finally, the study will build on the information gathered in the first two phases to explore the multitude of issues related to program design and test design.

The goal is to develop a set of recommendations that are supported by empirical data and that take into consideration logistical and psychometric requirements along with stakeholder feedback. Every phase of the research will involve stakeholder participation; readers who are interested in participating are invited to contact the Task Force.