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State bar examiners change rules after dustup over religious headwear


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The Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners announced last week that bar takers will be allowed to wear religious or medical necessity headwear without prior written approval.

The policy change comes in response to a miscommunication with a young Muslim woman who was asked to remove her religious headgear by a proctor in the middle of the bar exam, Above the Law reports.

Iman Abdulrazzak, a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, was taking the exam at the Western New England University School of Law when she was handed a proctor’s note informing her about the prior approval requirement for religious headwear and instructing her to “please” remove her headwear and place it under her seat for the afternoon session, Above the Law reports. However, Abdulrazzak had sought and received permission to wear her hijab prior to the exam.

While the mixup was cleared up during the lunch break, the incident upset many, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, legal academics and the internet at large, Above the Law notes. The new rules, which will be implemented for the February 2014 exam, will hopefully avoid a similar disruption in the future.

See prior coverage:

ABA Journal: “Muslim woman taking bar exam endures miscommunication about her headwear”

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