Bar Exam

Indiana changes online bar exam again after ‘repeated and unforeseen technical complications’

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Following “repeated and unforeseen technical complications,” the Indiana Supreme Court released an order Wednesday stating that its online bar exam has been rescheduled for Aug. 4, and it will now be an open-book test with questions and answers exchanged by email.

The Indiana online bar exam, as well as the Nevada online bar exam, was originally scheduled to begin July 28. The Nevada bar exam has been pushed back to Aug. 11 and 12.

The state announced plans for an online bar exam with short answer questions based on the multistate bar exam, as well as essay questions, in May.

Format for the Aug. 4 exam remains the same, with 12 short answer questions covering multistate bar exam subjects and six essay questions, Michele Cooley, director of academic and bar success at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, told the ABA Journal in an email.

Test-takers will get three hours for the short answer questions and four hours for the essay questions, she says.

The new plan will not have live monitoring, according to the July 29 order. Applicants cannot seek help for answers while taking the test, according to the order.

Indiana, as well as Nevada, both had initial plans to use a test software program by ILG Technologies, and both states recently announced that the exams would be rescheduled because of technology issues. ILG Technologies did not respond to an ABA Journal interview request.

In the July 29 order, the Indiana Supreme Court wrote that further efforts to test the software would not be fair to applicants, and the COVID-19 pandemic prevents large-scale, in-person testing.

“There remains, however, an urgent and pressing need for new attorneys to begin practicing to support the state and Hoosiers across the spectrum of the legal profession; but that need must be balanced with this court’s obligation to ensure new attorneys are duly qualified and competent to represent clients,” according to the order.

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