Paul L. Caron

Friday, April 17, 2020

Letter From California State Bar To California Supreme Court On July Bar Exam

Following up on Wednesday's post, State Bar Tells California Supreme Court: Delay Or Cancel July Bar ExamLetter From California State Bar to California Supreme Court (April 15, 2020):

California State Bar (2014)The options for proceeding which are described below are shaped by the Board’s belief that it is not feasible to administer an in person examination in June or July. ... [T]he Board believes these options have the greatest likelihood of success, and support the mission of the State Bar to ensure public protection.


  • Proceed with the plans to administer the June First-Year Law Students’ Examination, delivering the examination online, with remote proctoring, instead of in person. ...
  • Postpone the July California Bar Examination to September 9-10, 2020, one of the two sets of fall 2020 dates identified by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE).
  • Prepare to administer the September California Bar Examination online, in person, or both as needed to address social distancing needs in place at that time.  ...

Because the State Bar cannot guarantee that NCBE will allow online delivery of the MBE in September 2020, the Board of Trustees believes that a backstop is critical. That could be provided by convening a working group to study the development of a provisional certification program, under which eligible individuals would receive certification to be permitted to work under the supervision of a licensed California attorney. This would be an expansion of the Practical Training of Law Students Program authorized by Rule of Court 9.42. The Board believes that the working group should develop the eligibility criteria, the scope of work that can be performed with such certification, and the conditions under which this provisional certification would terminate. To prevent undue delay, any rules recommended by the working group should be presented to the Supreme Court by September 1, 2020, for consideration in the event the Bar Examination cannot be administered on September 9-10, 2020. Ideally the provisional certification program would be implemented such that certification could be issued by Thanksgiving 2020, the usual time when July bar examination results are announced.

In lieu of Option 1, both the June First-Year Law Students’ Examination and the July California Bar Examination could be cancelled. In that event, the next scheduled administration of the First-Year Law Students’ Examination would be October 2020 and of the California Bar Examination would be February 2021.

TaxProf Blog coverage of the July 2020 bar exam:

For complete TaxProf Blog coverage of the coronavirus, see here.

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