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Suddenly Short of Workers, U.S. Is Forced to Rethink Job Credentials

An ultra-tight job market has employers from law to health care dropping burdensome requirements.

Carnissa Lucas-Smith is more than a year into what she hopes will be a long legal career. If it hadn’t been for Covid-19, she would’ve had another hoop to jump through first.

After graduating from New York University School of Law, the next goal for Lucas-Smith was to work as a public defender in her native King County in Seattle, where she’d interned the previous summer. Any other year, that would have required passing a two-day, 12-hour exam—after completing a $3,000 preparatory course—to qualify for the bar.