Legal Education

New York cancels September bar exam, and considers NCBE’s October offering

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New York’s September bar exam has been canceled, the state court of appeals announced on its website Thursday.

“Unfortunately, the global pandemic presents a persisting threat in a growing number of states and therefore, at this juncture, an in-person exam is not yet a safe or practical option in New York,” the statement reads.

A working group focused on the bar exam is looking at using the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ October exam, which will be a remote test, according to the statement. A recommendation is expected by early August.

New York is a uniform bar exam state, and the working group will be evaluating the UBE as an assessment tool, as well as alternatives, including a fully remote exam and diploma privilege, according to the statement. Considerations will include health and safety, security and reliability.

Also a recent state court of appeals order authorizes temporary supervised practice for first-time test takers who are graduates of ABA-approved law schools, effective July 22.

New York in March postponed the July bar, and was the first state to do so. In May the state board of bar examiners announced the exam would first seat in-state law school graduates, due to space concerns.

Earlier this week, bar exams were also canceled in Tennessee, Louisiana and New Jersey. The American Bar Association’s Law Student Division is compiling a list of bar exam information by state, which can be seen here.

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