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What to Know About Online Bar Exams in Your Jurisdiction

What to Know About Online Bar Exams in Your Jurisdiction
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of life has changed. The legal industry is no exception. For those of you just getting ready to start your careers as attorneys, this can be especially frustrating. Many jurisdictions have been forced to reschedule their bar exams this summer. In an unprecedented move, several have announced that their bar exams will be administered online.

Below, we’ve highlighted the states that have decided to hold online bar exams. Each state has issued a unique set of rules, so be sure you pay special attention to your jurisdiction’s requirements. Additionally, as you certainly already know, nothing is set in stone these days. So be sure to check with your jurisdiction regularly to ensure you have the latest updates on your bar exam’s requirements.

Arizona


On July 1, the Arizona Supreme Court announced that it will offer a remote exam on October 5–6 for bar examinees who will be practicing in Arizona. This remote exam will be offered in addition to the in-person Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) scheduled to take place in July. Applicants who are registered for the July exam and those who requested a refund or who transferred their July application to the February 2021 exam may choose to take the October remote exam. All requests to be transferred to the October remote examination must have been received by the Attorney Admissions Unit on or before July 10. If circumstances require the July Uniform Bar Examination to be cancelled, individuals registered to sit for the July Uniform Bar Exam will be allowed to register for the October remote examination or the February Uniform Bar Examination.

For more information, visit the Arizona Judicial Branch’s website.

Connecticut


On July 23, the Connecticut Bar Examining Committee announced that the in-person exam scheduled for September 30–October 1 is canceled. Instead, Connecticut will offer a remote exam on October 5–6. 

For more information, visit the Connecticut Judicial Branch’s website.

District of Columbia


On June 8, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals announced that it will administer a remote exam on October 5–6. The District of Columbia has reached reciprocal agreements with Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Tennessee for the portability of scores earned on the remote exam. The remote exam will be offered in lieu of the in-person September 9–10 exam that the court had previously announced it would administer.

For more information, visit the District of Columbia Courts’s website.

Florida


On July 1, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners announced that the in-person July administration of the bar exam is canceled and that the board will instead administer an online exam consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions and three essay questions. On July 3, the board announced that the online exam will be administered on August 19. For the August exam only, applicants will not be required to take the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). 

For more information, visit the Florida Board of Bar Examiners’s website.

Georgia


On July 20, the Supreme Court of Georgia announced that it was canceling the in-person bar exam scheduled for September 9–10 and that it would instead administer an online exam on October 5–6. 

For more information, visit the Supreme Court of Georgia’s website.

Idaho


On July 20, the Idaho Supreme Court directed the Idaho State Bar to administer a remote bar exam on October 5–-6 in addition to the July exam. 

For more information, visit the Idaho State Bar’s website.

Illinois


On July 23, the Illinois Supreme Court announced that the in-person September 9–10 administration of the bar exam is canceled. The Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar will instead offer a remote exam on October 5–6. The board will consult with other jurisdictions regarding reciprocity of scores.

For more information, visit the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar’s website.

Indiana


On May 7, the Indiana Supreme Court ordered the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners to conduct a one-day remotely administered exam consisting of the Indiana Essay Examination and a series of short answer questions on topics tested on the Multistate Bar Examination. On July 24, the Indiana Supreme Court announced that the one-day remotely administered Indiana bar exam, originally scheduled for July 28, will be postponed until August 4. The exam will consist of the Indiana Essay Examination and a series of short answer questions on topics tested on the MBE.

For more information, visit the Indiana Board of Law Examiners’s website.

Kentucky


On July 9, the Supreme Court of Kentucky canceled the bar exams scheduled for July 28-29 and September 30–October 1. The court also announced that it would administer a remote bar exam on October 5–6. Kentucky has entered into reciprocal agreements with the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Tennessee for the portability of scores earned on the remote exam. 

For more information, visit the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions’s website.

Louisiana


On July 22, the Louisiana Supreme Court announced two remote one-day administrations of the bar exam, on August 24 and October 10, for registered candidates who do not qualify for emergency admission.

For more information, visit the Louisiana Supreme Court’s website.

Maryland


On June 8, the Maryland Court of Appeals announced that it will administer a remote bar exam on October 5–6, for local admission only, instead of the in-person UBE. Maryland has entered into reciprocal agreements with the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Tennessee for the portability of scores earned on the remote exam. 

For more information, visit the Maryland Courts’s website.

Massachusetts


On July 1, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners announced that a remotely administered bar exam will be offered in lieu of the UBE. The remote exam will take place on October 5–6. Massachusetts has entered into reciprocal agreements with the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, and Tennessee for the portability of scores earned on the remote exam.

To stay up to date with the latest developments on the Massachusetts bar exam, visit the State of Massachusetts’s website.

Michigan


On May 18, The Michigan Supreme Court ordered that a one-day online bar exam will be administered on July 28, consisting solely of the essay portion of the traditional exam.

To stay up to date with the latest developments on the Michigan bar exam, visit the Michigan Courts’ website.

Nevada


On May 20, the Nevada Supreme Court issued an order directing the bar exam to be conducted remotely on July 28 and 29. The exam will be open-book and consist of eight, one-hour essays and a performance test prepared by the Nevada Board of Bar Examiners.

To stay up to date with the latest developments on the Nevada bar exam, visit the State Bar of Nevada’s website.

New Hampshire


On July 22, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire issued an order announcing cancellation of the September 9–10 bar exam. The court also announced that the exam would instead be administered remotely on October 5–6. 

To stay up to date with the latest developments on the New Hampshire bar exam, visit the New Hampshire Judiciary’s website.

New Jersey


On July 15, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an order canceling the September 9–10 bar exam. The court also announced that New Jersey would administer a remote exam on October 5–6. New Jersey has entered into reciprocal agreements with the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Tennessee for the portability of scores earned on the remote exam. 

To stay up to date with the latest developments on the New Jersey bar exam, visit the New Jersey Board of Board Examiners’s website.

New York


On July 24, the New York State Board of Law Examiners announced that New York will administer a remote bar exam on October 5–6. 

To stay up to date with the latest developments on the New York bar exam, visit the New Jersey Board of Board Examiners’s website.

Ohio


On July 22, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued an order canceling the September 9–10 exam. The court also announced that it will instead administer a remote exam on October 5–6.

To stay up to date with the latest developments on the Ohio bar exam, visit the Supreme Court of Ohio’s website.

Oregon


On June 30, the Oregon Supreme Court announced that it would grant a one-time diploma privilege to candidates who timely submitted complete applications for the July 2020 Oregon bar exam and who either (1) graduated in 2020 from an Oregon law school or (2) graduated in 2020 from any other ABA-accredited law school that had a minimum of 86% of graduates pass a 2019 bar exam on their first attempt. For those candidates who do not qualify for diploma privilege, the court has announced (1) a one-time reduction in the passing score for the July exam from 274 to 266 and (2) the option to instead take a remotely administered exam on October 5–6 for local admission only

To stay up to date with the latest developments on the Oregon bar exam, visit the Oregon State Bar’s website.

Pennsylvania


On July 8, the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners announced that the board will administer a remote exam on October 5–7. This remote exam is in lieu of the July bar exam. Previously, on April 28, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order authorizing a limited license for July 2020 bar exam applicants.

To stay up to date with the latest developments on the Pennsylvania bar exam, visit the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners’s website.

Tennessee


On July 13, the Supreme Court of Tennessee issued an order canceling the September 30–October 1 bar exam administration. The court announced that it will instead administer a remote exam on October 5–6. Tennessee has entered into reciprocity agreements with the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey related to transfer of scores earned on the October exam.

To stay up to date with the latest developments on the Tennessee bar exam, visit the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners’s website.

Texas


On July 3, the Supreme Court of Texas issued an order canceling the July bar exam. The court also stated that the Texas Board of Law Examiners should instead administer an in-person exam on September 9–10. The court also ordered an online bar exam to be administered on October 5–6. 

To stay up to date with the latest developments on the Texas bar exam, visit the Texas Board of Law Examiners’s website.

Vermont


On July 17, the Vermont Supreme Court issued an order canceling the exam that had been scheduled for September 9–10. The court also announced that it would administer a remote exam on October 5–6.

To stay up to date with the latest developments on the Vermont bar exam, visit the Vermont Judiciary’s website.

Washington


On June 12, the Washington Supreme Court issued an order granting a diploma-privilege option to applicants currently registered to take the July and September 2020 bar exams. The bar exams in July and September will still be offered for those who do not qualify for the diploma privilege and those who wish to take the exam to receive a UBE score.

To stay up to date with the latest developments on the Washington bar exam, visit the Washington State Bar Association’s website.

Virgin Islands


On July 16, the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands issued an order canceling the bar exam that had been scheduled for September 30–October 1. This exam was intended to replace the July bar exam. The court also announced that the Office of Bar Admissions will instead administer a remote exam on October 5–6. 

To stay up to date with the latest developments on the Virgin Islands bar exam, visit the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands’s website.

Learn More


For more information about the bar exam, including study tips and strategies, check out our article: What is the Bar Exam? The Ultimate Guide to the Bar Exam