September NY Bar Exam Canceled by Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals announced that it has canceled the September 9-10, 2020 administration of the New York bar exam, citing concerns about health and safety in reaching its decision.
Dear 2020 Graduates,
Earlier today, the Court of Appeals announced that it has canceled the September 9-10, 2020 administration of the New York bar exam, citing concerns about health and safety in reaching its decision.
Unfortunately, the court has not announced an alternative plan at this time, but has instead created a working group to evaluate options, including a fully remote bar exam and a diploma privilege, among others. The court indicated that the working group's first priority will be to “evaluate the emergency remote testing option offered by the NCBE on October 5-6 and to reach a recommendation by early August."
For those who are interested and able, the court continues to make available the opportunity for first-time test takers—both LL.M. and J.D. graduates—to “work under a qualified supervising attorney prior to their admission to the bar.” Beginning on July 22, those who wish to pursue legal work under this temporary authorization may apply through the Appellate Division in which they expect to be certified for admission.
I recognize how frustrating this announcement is, particularly given the significant disruption you have already experienced since the original exam was rescheduled from July. These latest developments raise new questions, many of which will not be resolved for several weeks. Along with the deans of other New York law schools, I have advocated persistently on your behalf for many months including several letters to the court, the most recent earlier this week urging an online administration of the exam in September or October and a reconsideration of our earlier argument for a diploma privilege. In addition, I am part of a small group of deans meeting tomorrow with New York State Senator Brad Hoylman to express our strong support for the legislation he is co-sponsoring that would grant a diploma privilege.
As Dean May indicated in her recent message, while the Law School remains in touch with the court and the Board of Law Examiners, we continue to receive updates—as you do—in real time. I encourage you to visit the court’s website; as more information becomes available, we will also keep you informed. I will continue to advocate on your behalf and all of us at CLS will support you fully as you pursue admission to the bar.
With my best wishes,