Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing states to consider postponing their summer bar exams, upending the career plans of around 46,000 graduating law school students, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: A person must pass the bar before they can practice as an attorney in most states — and the bar exam is often only offered twice a year.

  • The job market for lawyers is also starting to contract as law firms reduce staff and cut pay because courts are closed and settlement discussions are on pause.
  • Law students often face tens of thousands of dollars of debt after their educations, and the current uncertainty could have a terrible impact on their future finances.

The big picture: New York, Hawaii and Massachusetts have already planned to cancel or delay their summer bar exams.

  • The National Conference of Bar Examiners, which administers the exam, said it would make additional tests available for the fall for states that postpone.
  • Some groups have lobbied for states to issue exemptions to allow graduates to practice law in a limited capacity until they can take the exam safely in 2021. The Utah Supreme Court said this month that it is considering waiving the exam requirement for recent law school graduates.

What they're saying: "The job market is beyond grim, and then they are in this no man’s land," New York State Bar Association President Hank Greenberg told the WSJ.

Go deeper: College students rebel against full tuition

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The CIA's new license to cyberattack

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In 2018 President Trump granted the Central Intelligence Agency expansive legal authorities to carry out covert actions in cyberspace, providing the agency with powers it has sought since the George W. Bush administration, former U.S. officials directly familiar with the matter told Yahoo News.

Why it matters: The CIA has conducted disruptive covert cyber operations against Iran and Russia since the signing of this presidential finding, said former officials.

12 mins ago - Technology

Tech hits the brakes on office reopenings

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tech was the first industry to send its workers home when COVID-19 first hit the U.S., and it has been among the most cautious in bringing workers back. Even still, many companies are realizing that their reopening plans from as recently as a few weeks ago are now too optimistic.

Why it matters: Crafting reopening plans gave tech firms a chance to bolster their leadership and model the beginnings of a path back to normalcy for other office workers. Their decision to pause those plans is the latest sign that normalcy is likely to remain elusive in the U.S.

The existential threat to small business

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the game for U.S. businesses, pushing forward years-long shifts in workplaces, technology and buying habits and forcing small businesses to fight just to survive.

Why it matters: These changes are providing an almost insurmountable advantage to big companies, which are positioned to come out of the recession stronger and with greater market share than ever.