Paul L. Caron

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Over A Dozen States Push Ahead With In-Person July Bar Exam Despite COVID-19

National Conference of Bar Examiners, July 2020 Bar Exam Status by Jurisdiction (as of July 17, 2020):


Wall Street Journal, Coronavirus Pandemic Creates Bar Exam Chaos:

The bar exam, an annual rite of passage for law graduates starting their careers, has been thrown into turmoil by the coronavirus pandemic.

As some states prepare to hold in-person exams this month, and others plan for delayed or online tests, a groundswell of support is building to abolish this year’s test altogether.

“Any other option is truly unworkable,” said L. Song Richardson, the dean at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. She said she has heard from recent graduates about “the pain, the suffering, the anxiety, the housing insecurity…and the inability to make a living,” caused by the pandemic and testing uncertainty. ...

Florida, Texas, Louisiana and other states recently scrapped plans to hold in-person exams this month. More than a dozen others, including Colorado, Oklahoma and North Carolina, are still planning for live testing July 28.

As states continually shift the date and format of bar exams, graduates have struggled to adjust study schedules.

Job start dates for some have been pushed back, and others are scrambling to find employers willing to hire them amid the uncertainty.

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