We recently have been made aware that certain state bar examiners – including some administering the exam next week – prohibit people from bringing their own menstrual products to the bar exam. For the reasons explained below and in the attached letter, we ask you to sign on to this letter, which requests that the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) require all states to permit examinees to bring their own menstrual products to their bar exam.
The option offered by some bar examiners – that they provide such products in women’s restrooms – is not acceptable. First, the size of the product a person needs is highly personal and can vary throughout one’s period. Use of the wrong size can lead to everything from toxic shock syndrome (too large) to disruptive leaks (too small). Second, transmen and non-binary individuals who get their periods may not be able to use the women’s restroom to obtain the needed products. Third, the notion that menstrual products could be used to facilitate cheating on the bar exam is beyond absurd. Absent any indication that menstrual products have been used to compromise the exam’s integrity, targeting only people who menstruate sends a strong – and problematic – message that people who menstruate are untrustworthy.
We ask you – by Monday, July 20, 2020 at 6 pm (eastern time) – to sign onto this letter to the NCBE. In addition to this request of the NCBE, the sign-on letter will be used to support advocacy to the specific states that prohibit examinees from bringing in their own menstrual products.
Because time is of the essence, we ask that you add your name ASAP by filling out this google form. Please also send this request to your colleagues, current and former students, and friends in the legal community. Menstruators and non-menstruators are encouraged to sign on.
If you have any questions, email MPandTheBar@gmail.com.
Thank you for your consideration.
Prof. Margaret E. Johnson, Professor of Law and Co-Director, Center on Applied Feminism, University of Baltimore Law School (visiting at American University, Washington College of Law ’20-‘21)
Prof. Marcy L. Karin, Jack & Lovell Olender Professor of Law, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law
Prof. Elizabeth B. Cooper, Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Feerick Center for Social Justice, Fordham Law School
*Affiliation provided for informational purposes only.