Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

New Jersey Is Fifth State To Postpone July Bar Exam, First To Offer 2020 Law Grads Temporary License To Practice

NJ Supreme Court Allows 2020 Law School Graduates to Temporarily Practice Law Despite Postponement of Bar Exam:

NJBANew Jersey’s July 2020 bar exam will be postponed until the fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but law school graduates will have an opportunity to temporarily practice law under the supervision of experienced attorneys, under an order signed today by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner on behalf of the state Supreme Court.

The order relaxes court rules so that 2020 law school graduates who have not yet taken the bar exam can temporarily practice law under the supervision of attorneys in good standing who have been licensed for a minimum of three years. Graduates must apply to take the first exam scheduled after graduation, or qualify for a single extension, and earn certification from the Supreme Court Committee on Character before they can practice law.

The Court issued the order after consultation with the deans of New Jersey’s law schools: Kimberly Mutcherson, Co-Dean of Rutgers Law School; David Lopez, Co-Dean of Rutgers Law School; and Kathleen M. Boozang, Dean of Seton Hall Law School. ...

The temporary ability to practice law will lapse if the graduate does not sit for the first bar exam scheduled after graduation, unless granted an extension, or if the graduate does not pass the exam. Graduates who cannot sit for the first exam can apply to the New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners for a single extension if they can establish a specific showing of personal hardship. No further extensions will be granted. ...

“The deans of Rutgers and Seton Hall Law Schools appreciate the careful and expeditious work of the New Jersey Supreme Court to enable the class of 2020 to enter the profession and begin their legal careers. We look forward to working with the Court to facilitate the administration of the bar exam, whenever that becomes possible,” the deans said in a joint statement today.

TaxProf Blog coverage of the July 2020 bar exam:

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

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