THEMIS COURSE UPDATES
Bar Exam Update | NCBE will release July 2020 exam materials
May 5, 2020
Earlier today, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) released a statement saying there will most likely be a sufficient number of July examinees to administer the bar exam. Accordingly, they plan to make their exam materials (MBE, MEE, and MPT) available to those jurisdictions that choose to administer an exam in July.
The NCBE is also providing exam materials for two fall administrations (September 9-10 and September 30-October 1) for those jurisdictions that have delayed their July exams or decided to offer an additional administration in the fall in the event they must limit seating for the July exam. For information about the various jurisdictions’ announcements, visit the NCBE’s Jurisdiction Information page.
We are continuing to monitor the NCBE’s announcements and will share any news with you as soon as we hear it.
Have no fear, we’re here to help you pass the bar, regardless of when you sit for the bar exam.
Themis Bar Review
How Themis can help you pass the bar exam during COVID-19.
April 8, 2020
Last week, the NCBE provided administration dates for three 2020 bar exams: July 28-30, September 9-10, and September 30-October 1. Each jurisdiction will decide* which dates work best to protect your health and safety.
In the meantime, our team of Themis attorneys is currently at work covering all potential exam dates, making necessary assignment adjustments, and discussing ways our technology can enhance your overall course experience. Rest assured, we are doing everything possible as part of our relentless commitment to your bar exam success.
Our summer bar review courses opened, as planned, on Wednesday, March 18, and we plan to maintain this full access whether or not a jurisdiction’s bar exam is postponed to one of the September dates or occurs as planned in July. For any jurisdiction that does postpone its bar exam, adjustments will be made to your course schedule, including the recommended start date and graded essay deadlines. In addition, your course has some key features to support you and we want to make sure you know about them:
Start Date Selection and Adaptive Calendar: While we do have a recommended start date based on a traditional 10-11 week study period, we realize this will not work for everyone. Our course platform allows you to select a start date that works best for you. Once your start date is selected, our Directed Study Calendar arranges your assignments into a customized learning path, adapting daily based on your performance. If you need guidance on selecting a start date that works for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our Personal Attorney Adviser team. Also, it’s important to note that if your plans change, you can reset your start date earlier or later and the calendar will recalibrate again.
Pre-Course Survey: There are a variety of factors, both academic and environmental, that may impact your success on the bar exam. We also understand these factors vary from student to student. This is why we ask you to answer a short survey before starting your course. This helps us better understand the challenges you will be facing during your studies. This information is then provided to your Bar Exam Success team to ensure we provide you with the best guidance throughout your course.
Diagnostic Exam with one-on-one consultation: If you are enrolled in a bar review course that is affected by a postponement, you will be given an opportunity to take a 100-question diagnostic exam. After taking the exam, you can schedule a one-on-one consultation with your Themis Personal Attorney Adviser. During this consultation, the Attorney Adviser will review your exam results, identify and review areas of low performance, and then create specific strategies to best maximize the extended preparation time.
We will continue to monitor the situation and update you appropriately. More than anything, I want to assure you that we remain committed to you during these unprecedented times.
Chief Operating Officer
Themis Bar Review
*At the time of this email, New York has announced that it will administer the bar exam on September 9-10, and Massachusetts has announced it will administer the bar exam on September 30-October 1.
September Bar Exam Dates Announced by the National Conference of Bar Examiners
April 6, 2020
This past Friday evening, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) announced that they will make bar exam materials available for two fall bar administrations: September 9-10 and September 30-October 1. Jurisdictions will have the option of administering the bar exam as previously planned in July, in early September, or in late September. Click here to read the full announcement by the NCBE.
As of April 6, five jurisdictions have announced they will be postponing the July bar exam to a fall administration: Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.
New York announced this morning that the examination will be rescheduled for Wednesday-Thursday, September 9-10, 2020. The application period for the rescheduled examination is set to open on May 5, 2020 at 12:00 AM and close on May 30, 2020 at 11:59 PM. More specifics can be found on the New York Board of Law Examiners website.
Massachusetts announced today that their bar exam will be held on Wednesday-Thursday, September 30-October 1, 2020. Applications are currently not being accepted, but updated filing instructions for Petitions for Admission by Examination and/or Re-examination will be posted on the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners website.
The other jurisdictions, including any that announce a postponement in the coming weeks, will select from one of these two proposed fall dates. You may find all jurisdiction postponement announcements on the NCBE website here.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or would like to speak with your local attorney director about any concerns you may have by emailing email@example.com or calling (888) 843-6476 Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M. CT.
Remember that we’re here for you,
Themis Bar Review
The Bar Exam May Be Postponed | What Do You Do Now?
March 27, 2020
Last night, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) released a statement saying that it would make a decision on or around Tuesday, May 5, regarding whether a July bar exam will take place as scheduled, and mentioned that they would also have a set of materials available for jurisdictions who wish to hold administrations of their bar exams in the fall. We are monitoring the NCBE announcements and will share any news with you as soon as we hear it.
The good news for you is that we at Themis Bar Review are ready to help you no matter when your jurisdiction decides to administer the exam, and our Adaptive Calendar will automatically adjust your assignments and set your study pace to accommodate a change to the dates of the exam, should that occur.
That said, waiting on a final determination is going to be hard, so we thought we’d offer you a little advice for the weeks ahead, as we wait to see what decision is made.
Before you do anything, stop, step back, and take a deep breath. This situation is unprecedented, so it’s completely understandable that you may be frustrated, disheartened, upset, or frightened. Allow yourself the space to feel that.
Complete your bar exam and character & fitness
We know that it can be difficult right now to even know what day of the week it is, but make sure you are staying aware of any upcoming deadlines for your bar exam application, or for your character and fitness paperwork. While we may not know whether the exam is happening until early May, you don’t want the reason you don’t sit for the exam this summer to be that you didn’t get your applications done in time. Bookmark your bar examiners’ website for updates.
Plan out your summer now.
Use this time to take a look at your summer plans. Yes, a lot of these plans are up in the air right now, but it can be helpful to have a plan in place, even if it changes. On average, students need 400-500 hours to complete their coursework - that equates, in a 9-week study period, to approximately 45-55 hours per week. Where are you going to find that time among other personal, family, or work obligations you may have? If the bar exam is postponed until September or October, what do your plans look like then?
If you had planned to start studying earlier, stick to your
If you’ve already created your study plan, and part of that plan was to begin studying earlier than your course’s recommended start date, then stick to that plan. Until we know otherwise, we need to assume that the July bar exam will happen as scheduled, and you need to make sure you’re doing what you need to in order to be successful. Stick to your plan. If something changes, we’ll regroup together and figure out the next best step.
Remember that if everything that is happening is shifting your focus, that’s okay. Now is a time when we all need to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. But don’t lose sight of the fact that the bar exam remains the next stepping stone to your legal career – regardless of whether it happens in July or October. Things will settle down, even if it is a “new normal” and, you’ll be glad that you didn’t stop moving forward on your path to bar exam success.
Stay positive and know that we’re here for you,
Themis Bar Review
Themis Bar Review Postponement Policy
If your bar exam administration is postponed until fall, your course access will be extended at no additional cost to accommodate the new test dates.
Themis Bar Review Book Shipment Status
March 23, 2020
Our fulfillment facility has alerted us that it has been deemed an essential business and will remain open, albeit with a skeleton crew. This means that your books, once eligible to be shipped, may experience a delay in the usual one-business-day processing time. Remember, the content provided in these books is also available online via the Themis course platform. Simply log in for full access to your course materials.
In order for your books to be eligible for shipment, you must be either (a) paid in full for your July 2020 course; or (b) enrolled in a payment plan with a minimum of $530 on your account applied toward your July 2020 course.
You will receive a shipment confirmation with tracking information once your books are on their way to you. This shipment confirmation will come from firstname.lastname@example.org, so please be sure that this email address is on your contacts list to ensure that you receive the email rather than it filtering to spam.
Take care, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions,
Themis Bar Review
Update on Course Access, Book Shipments, Bar Exam Dates, Themis Office Hours
March 17, 2020
The global spread of COVID-19 has affected everyone in unprecedented ways. In this time of great anxiety, our focus is on you. While law students across the nation begin to adapt to online classroom learning, we are evaluating our existing technology and resources to ensure that they remain a valuable tool to assist you at this time.
With that in mind, we at Themis Bar Review wanted to let you know a few things:
As promised, full access to our July 2020 bar exam preparation courses will open Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The recommended study start date is May 18, 2020.
As of today, March 17, 2020, we have confirmed that our book fulfillment facility remains open and books continue shipping to paid-in-full students daily. If this changes, we will be sure to let you know.
In an effort to minimize risk to our employees and in alignment with the CDC and WHO recommendations, we implemented a remote working arrangement for all employees as of Friday, March 13. While our office is closed, our team is working from their homes during our regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 am - 6 pm, central), and is available to answer any questions you may have about your upcoming course.
At this time, we have no reason to believe that any jurisdiction will cancel the July 2020 administration of the bar exam. We will continue to monitor announcements from all jurisdictions. Should the bar exam be canceled, all students enrolled in a July 2020 bar review course will be automatically re-enrolled for the next administration of the exam at no additional cost.
We wish you all the best in these coming weeks. Please do not hesitate to reach out if we can help you with anything.
Chief Operating Officer
Themis Bar Review
Top Five Tips for Law School Online
March 16, 2020
We hope this email finds you well during this trying time. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures, and last Friday, March 13, the ABA Journal noted that over 150 of the 200 ABA-accredited law schools have moved to online learning for part of, if not the entirety, of the remainder of the spring semester.
Themis Bar Review takes great pride in having been the first national bar review course designed to be delivered online, and, for over a decade now, have made it our mission to understand what makes a student successful when studying online. For some of you, online learning may be familiar, but for most, attending law school classes online is new, uncharted territory.
As you begin your online classes, we wanted to offer you a few tips to set yourself up for a successful online spring semester:
Establish Regular Study Space.
You may already have a space at home where you study occasionally. Is this space equipped to become your classroom? Make sure it is quiet and has good internet access, plenty of power sources, and adequate lighting. Plan to do all of your classroom learning in this space. By coming to the same study space for every class, you will begin to create a routine and stay organized, which in turn boosts your productivity. Leave everything you need for class in this space – books, materials, and even a set of headphones. This way, you won’t have to go looking for an essential item moments before, or worse, during, a class session.
Being Home Doesn’t Mean You Aren’t in School.
Learning online does not lessen the amount of time you need to spend on your classes. Most of you are halfway through your semester at this point and have established a routine for commuting to school, going to class, out-of-class study time, and other extracurricular activities and obligations. Take advantage of the lack of a commute by using that time to get other things done, but leave the rest of your daily routine the same. Also, it doesn’t hurt to get out of those pajamas – if you wouldn’t wear them to school, don’t wear them now.
Test Your Learning Platforms BEFORE the First Class.
Test your technology before your first class. Ensure that your device is working well, that you have the necessary software downloaded, that your browser is up-to-date and that your internet speed is adequate. Be sure to take advantage of any resources your law school has for assisting you with this process. Taking some time to verify and test everything will allow you to focus on your courses rather than technological difficulties.
Minimize Distractions to Stay Mentally Engaged.
Not only do you need to minimize the outside distractions (dirty dishes in the sink, laundry to be washed, kids that need to be entertained…) when selecting your study space, but you need to be aware of the online distractions as well. Every person will have a different approach to minimizing the outside distractions – perhaps a really good set of noise-canceling headphones is in order – or maybe it is making sure that your study space has a door that you can shut. Think about a strategy that will work for you now. As for the online distractions, consider silencing or turning off your phone during classes. And, if you’re tempted to surf the web or check your email, consider installing a website blocker, like Cold Turkey or Freedom*.
Set a Schedule to Finish Assignments EARLY.
If you have an assignment due for class on Wednesday, don’t wait until Tuesday night or Wednesday morning to start it. Pretend your assignment is due one or two days earlier than it is to ensure that you have time to finish it, and even review it. Online or in-person, this is a good time-management habit to get into for your assignments, but without having to be physically at the law school or in your law school classroom, finding a strategy to discourage procrastination is even more important.
We hope that you find these tips helpful in the coming weeks. Best of luck as you begin your online classes, and stay healthy.
Themis Bar Review
NCBE’S ANNOUNCEMENTS ABOUT THE JULY 2020 BAR EXAM
As of June 2, 2020
REMOTE ADMINISTRATION BACK-UP PLAN: NCBE will provide a limited set of questions (MBE, MEE, MPT) to jurisdictions for an emergency remote testing option for local admission during the COVID-19 crisis. The materials will be offered for a remote administration on October 5–6, after all three administrations of the bar exam/Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) have occurred, and will provide jurisdictions an emergency option should administering the in-person bar exam not be possible.
This remote testing option will not constitute the full bar exam or the UBE. Scores earned on the remotely administered test will be used for local admission decisions only, and will not qualify as UBE scores. The scores will not be eligible to be transferred as UBE or MBE scores to other jurisdictions or released to candidates via NCBE Score Services. Please refer to the NCBE’s website for full details.
From the NCBE Website: NCBE has determined that there will most likely be a sufficient number of July examinees to administer the bar exam. Accordingly, they plan to make exam materials (MBE, MEE, and MPT) available to those jurisdictions that choose to administer an exam in July.
NCBE is also making additional sets of exam materials available for two fall administrations for those jurisdictions that have delayed their July exams or decided to offer an additional administration in the fall in the event they must limit seating for the July exam. For information about jurisdiction announcements, visit the NCBE’s Jurisdiction Information page.
They will also continue to study and formulate options for an emergency remote assessment for those jurisdictions that cannot administer an in-person bar exam due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The following jurisdictions have made announcements about the July 2020 bar exam. We will continue to update this page as we receive information from the jurisdictions. See the NCBE COVID-19 Updates page for more information about the coronavirus and NCBE exams and services.
The Supreme Court of Alabama issued an order on May 8 making certain temporary exceptions to the Rules Governing Admission to the Alabama State Bar. The order also makes temporary exceptions to the Alabama Rule for Legal Internship by Law Students, which allows third-year law students to perform many functions of a licensed attorney under the supervision of an attorney licensed in Alabama. The order allows any applicant for the July 2020 bar exam to participate as a student intern, and it allows participation to the earlier of (1) the student intern’s date of admission to the Alabama State Bar, or (2) the date of release of results for the February 2021 Alabama bar exam. The exam is still currently scheduled for July 28-29.
The Alaska Bar Association has announced that the exam will be held on September 9-10.
The Arizona Supreme Court issued an order on April 6 authorizing the emergency adoption of court rule changes allowing law school students and recent graduates the limited ability to practice law in Arizona under the supervision of an attorney licensed in Arizona. A link to the order is available in Chief Justice Robert M. Brutinell's letter to 2020 law graduates. The exam is still currently scheduled for July 28-29.
The Arkansas Supreme Court announced on April 30 that it plans, through the State Board of Law Examiners, to administer the exam in July. If the exam cannot be administered in July, the exam will be rescheduled for September.
The Supreme Court of California announced in an April 27 news release that the exam will be postponed to September 9-10.
On May 14, the Colorado Supreme Court announced that it plans to administer the exam in July; if the exam is postponed, it will be held on September 30-October 1. In the event the July exam must be postponed, the Court may certify recent law graduates to practice under an emergency limited license rule.
The Connecticut Bar Examining Committee announced in a March 30 press release that the exam will be postponed until fall 2020. The Committee subsequently announced on April 24 that it will administer the exam on September 30-October 1. On May 6, the Committee announced that it will accept a maximum number of 500 applications for the exam, with a plan for prioritization of applications. The announcements and related updates can be found on the Committee’s web page. On May 11, the Connecticut Rules Committee adopted a temporary and emergency expansion of its legal intern rules.
The Supreme Court of Delaware announced on May 11 that the exam is rescheduled to September 9-11. (The exam in Delaware is administered over 2.5 days.)
The District of Columbia Court of Appeals issued an order on April 10 canceling its administration of the July exam. In a May 4 press release and order, the Court announced that it plans to administer the exam on September 9-10. Due to limited seating, registration for priority registrants for the exam will be held May 18-28; if seating remains available after the priority-registration period, the Court will announce the opening of a non-priority registration period.
The Florida Board of Bar Examiners, with the approval of the Supreme Court of Florida, plans to proceed with the administration of the exam on July 28-29, according to a May 5 press release.
The Supreme Court of Georgia issued an order on April 17 announcing that the exam will be rescheduled for September 9-10. The Court has also adopted a temporary rule allowing recent law school graduates to become provisionally admitted to practice law prior to taking the bar exam. The new rule also provides a process for lawyers admitted to the bar of another state who have recently moved to Georgia to obtain provisional admission.
The Supreme Court of Guam issued an order on April 9 announcing that the exam will be rescheduled for September 9-10.
The Hawaii Supreme Court, in consultation with the Hawaii Board of Bar Examiners, announced in a March 31 order that the exam will be rescheduled for fall 2020. An order issued on April 20 announced that the exam will be held on September 9-10.
The Illinois Supreme Court announced in a May 1 press release that the exam is postponed until September 9-10. The Court also entered an order temporarily relaxing rules to allow the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar the flexibility to prepare for and administer the exam in September, details of which are found on the Board’s announcements page.
According to a May 7 announcement, the Indiana Supreme Court handed down an order ordering the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners to conduct a one-day remotely administered exam on July 28. The exam will consist of the Indiana Essay Examination and a series of short answer questions on topics tested on the Multistate Bar Examination. The Indiana Supreme Court issued an order on April 8 amending the time limitations of its graduate legal intern rule. The order allows anyone who graduated from law school after November 2019 to potentially serve as a graduate legal intern until the February 2021 bar exam, provided they have not failed any exam prior to that date.
The Iowa Office of Professional Regulation has announced that the Iowa Board of Law Examiners intends to administer to the exam in July. If the exam cannot be administered as scheduled, the Board intends to administer the exam on September 9-10. The Iowa Supreme Court entered an order on May 6 confirming the decision.
On April 17, the Kansas Supreme Court announced that it will offer an additional administration of the exam on September 9-10 if needed, in addition to the July administration. In a May 14 news release, the Court confirmed that it will administer the exam in July and on September 9-10.
In an April 15 press release, the Kentucky Supreme Court announced that it plans to administer the exam in July. If it cannot administer the exam in July, the exam will be rescheduled for September. On May 11, the Court entered an order stating that the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions will administer the exam in July as well as offer an additional administration of the exam on September 30-October 1.
The Louisiana Supreme Court and the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions have announced that the 3-day bar examination previously scheduled for July 20, 22, and 24 has been canceled. The Committee will now administer a one-day bar examination on two dates: July 27 and October 10. The announcement indicates a priority schedule in anticipation of possible seating capacity limits to ensure compliance with public health guidelines and sets forth a priority schedule.
The Maine Supreme Court issued an order on April 15 stating that the exam is rescheduled for September 30-October 1. According to a May 4 announcement, the Maine Board of Bar Examiners is limiting the number of seats available for the exam; as of May 4, the Board reached its limit and is unable to accept additional applications. The Board subsequently announced on May 9 the availability of a limited number of additional seats and a three-tiered application period for those not already on the seating list.
The Maryland Court of Appeals issued an administrative order on May 26 tentatively rescheduling the exam for September 9-10.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners announced in a March 30 press release that the exam would be postponed until fall 2020. The press release was updated on April 6 to announce that the exam will be held on September 30-October 1. In an April 23 press release, the Court and the Board announced a plan for the exam to proceed: if the Uniform Bar Exam cannot be conducted safely in person on September 30-October 1, an alternative exam will be administered remotely and will grant admission only to Massachusetts; it also announced an expanded opportunity for graduates to appear in court under its student practice rule. On May 4, the Board released a notice with a plan for prioritizing seating arrangements for the September 30-October 1 exam in anticipation of a limited number of available seats for the exam.
The Michigan Supreme Court ordered on May 18 that a one-day online exam will be administered on July 28, consisting solely of the essay portion of the traditional exam.
The Minnesota State Board of Law Examiners made an updated announcement on May 20 confirming that it will administer the exam in July and on September 9-10.
The Missouri Board of Law Examiners announced on April 28 that the Missouri Supreme Court issued an order temporarily modifying its law student practice rule to extend the certification time period. The exam is still proceeding as scheduled in July. In the event the exam cannot be administered in July, it will be held on September 9-10.
The Nebraska Supreme Court issued an order on May 7 announcing that the exam will be administered in July along with an additional administration on September 9-10.
The Nevada Supreme Court issued an order on May 20 directing the exam to be conducted remotely on July 28 and 29. The exam will be taken open book and consist of eight one-hour essays and a performance test prepared by the Nevada Board of Bar Examiners.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court issued an order on April 10 announcing that the exam will be postponed until fall 2020. On April 14, the Court issued an order announcing that the exam will be administered on September 9-10, according to a news release from the New Hampshire Judicial Branch.
The New Jersey Supreme Court announced on April 6 that the exam will be postponed until fall 2020. The order issued by the Court relaxes and expands Court rules to allow 2020 law school graduates to temporarily practice law under the supervision of experienced attorneys despite postponement of the exam. The Court has since announced that the exam will be administered on September 9-10.
The New Mexico Supreme Court issued an order on April 28 announcing that the exam will be postponed until September 2020, exact date to be scheduled. The order also includes planning for a possible temporary, limited supervised practice program for applicants awaiting an opportunity to take the bar exam, only if the exam cannot be administered in 2020.
The New York Court of Appeals announced in a March 27 press release that the exam would be rescheduled for fall 2020. The Board of Law Examiners subsequently made the following announcements on its website: The exam will be rescheduled to September 9-10. Due to limits expected on the number of large venues the Board typically uses to administer the exam, the Board will not be able to test all candidates typically applying to take a July exam. On April 30, the Court announced the prioritization of application filings for the September exam: the application filing period will be open from May 5 to May 15 for graduates of the 15 New York law schools only who are sitting for the bar exam for the first time. After May 15 the Board will reassess available seating in light of existing health and safety guidance; if seating remains available, the Board will then open the application period to a larger pool of candidates. The Court has also approved a program designed to provide temporary authorization for qualified law graduates to engage in the limited practice of law under the supervision of a qualified attorney, according to an April 28 statement on its website.
The North Carolina Board of Law Examiners has announced that it presently intends to administer the exam in July. If the exam cannot be administered as scheduled, it will administer the exam on September 9-10.
The North Dakota Board of Bar Examiners issued an April 10 policy statement indicating that it is planning to administer the exam on July 28-29. If the exam cannot be administered in July, it will administer the exam on September 9-10. At this time, North Dakota is limiting the number of examinees to 85, with priority given as indicated in the policy statement. North Dakota has an existing rule allowing graduates of ABA-approved law schools to temporarily practice law under the supervision of a North Dakota licensed attorney.
The Supreme Court of Ohio announced on May 13 that the exam will be postponed until September 9-10. The Court has also expanded its Practice Pending Admission during the Admission to the Practice of Law Process for recent law school graduates.
The Oregon Supreme Court issued an order making certain emergency modifications to the Oregon State Bar Rules for Admission. The Oregon State Board of Bar Examiners intends to administer the exam on July 28-29. If the exam cannot be administered in July, it will be administered in the fall. On May 11, the Board announced that it will continue with its plans for hosting a July bar exam, but with a maximum seating capacity of 500 applicants. As of May 15, the Board had reached its maximum seating capacity. Information for applicants regarding the maximum seating capacity is on the Oregon State Bar’s announcements for July 2020 bar exam applicants.
The Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners has announced that the exam will be rescheduled to September 9-10, according to an April 28 press release. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order authorizing a limited license for July 2020 bar exam applicants.
The Supreme Court announced on April 13 that the exam has been postponed indefinitely. The news advisory issued by the Rhode Island Judiciary indicated that the Court expects to issue an order on the matter soon.
The Supreme Court of South Carolina announced that it intends to administer the exam in July. If it is not possible to conduct the exam in July, it intends to administer it on September 9-10.
The Supreme Court of South Dakota entered an order on May 6 announcing that if NCBE materials are not available for the July exam administration, the South Dakota Board of Bar Examiners is authorized to develop and administer a 10-question essay exam on July 28. Applicants may instead opt to take the regular bar exam in February 2021. If public health orders necessitate canceling the July exam, the Board will administer the regular bar exam on the next available dates that NCBE makes its materials available. The order also amends its supervised practice rule to extend the certification term for graduates who have applied for the July exam.
The Tennessee Supreme Court issued an April 2 press release announcing temporary rule changes to address ongoing concerns with the July 2020 bar exam. The rule changes include extending the time applicants can practice under supervision or pending admission to November 15, 2021, and permitting transfer of applications from the July exam to a potential fall exam or to the February 2021 exam. The Court issued an April 17 press release announcing that it will offer an additional administration of the exam on September 30-October 1 in addition to the July administration. On May 11, the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners posted an update and Court order confirming that the exam will be administered in July as well as on September 30-October 1s. The Court order also approves a temporary policy recommended by the Board establishing a protocol for seating applicants due to limited seating capacity to comply with restrictions on the size of public gatherings.
The Texas Board of Law Examiners announced on April 28 that the Supreme Court of Texas issued an order determining that the Board should offer an additional administration of the exam on September 9-11 in addition to the July exam. (The exam in Texas is administered over 2.5 days, until Texas’s first administration of the Uniform Bar Exam in February 2021.) The order also specifies updated rules regarding the supervised practice of law by qualified law students and unlicensed law school graduates in Texas.
On April 21, the Utah Supreme Court issued an order modifying the bar examination passage requirement on an emergency basis for certain eligible law school graduates, according to an April 21 news release. Qualified candidates must have submitted an application to take the Utah bar exam on or before April 1, 2020; must have graduated from a law school with an overall first-time passage rate of 86% or greater in 2019; and must perform 360 hours of legal service under the supervision of an experienced attorney. For applicants who do not qualify for the alternative pathway, or for those wishing to gain admission through the bar exam, the Court intends to offer the exam in Utah on September 30-October 1.
The Vermont Supreme Court announced that by an April 6 order of the Court, the exam is rescheduled to September 9-10.
The Virginia Board of Bar Examiners announced on May 1 that it remains committed to administering the exam in July. Final decisions and details regarding the July bar exam will be made as soon as possible and will be announced on its website.
The Virgin Islands Supreme Court entered an order on May 28 announcing that the exam is postponed to September 30-October 1. Seating capacity for the exam will be limited, with priority considerations given to applicants in the order delineated in the administrative order.
The Washington Supreme Court announced on May 13 that Washington will administer the exam in July and on September 9-10. Washington has an existing rule allowing recent law school graduates to practice law for up to 18 months in a limited scope under the supervision of a licensed attorney. On May 15, the Court issued an order temporarily reducing the minimum passing UBE score from 270 to 266. The temporary modified minimum passing score applies only to applicants who sit for the July 2020 or September 2020 UBE. In addition, applicants applying for admission by UBE score transfer from another jurisdiction who achieve a score of 266 or higher on the July 2020 or September 2020 UBE may transfer their score to Washington. The minimum passing UBE score reverts to 270 beginning with the February 2021 examination. The Court also approved changes to Washington’s licensed legal intern rule extending the licensing period and increasing the number of licensed interns who can be supervised by a lawyer.
The Wyoming Supreme Court issued an order on April 10 announcing an emergency rule that authorizes July 2020 bar applicants to be temporarily admitted to the practice of law with supervision, if certain conditions are met, in the event that the July exam is postponed. The rule is issued conditionally on the bar exam not being administered in July and will be of no effect if Wyoming is able to hold the July exam. The bar exam is still currently scheduled for July 28-29.
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