which states will delay the July 2020 bar exam

Which States are Delaying the July 2020 Bar Exam and Offering a Fall Bar Exam Instead?

Which states are delaying the July 2020 bar exam and offering a fall bar exam instead? As noted in prior posts, the NCBE has decided to administer a fall bar exam. States have until May 5 to determine whether they wish to administer a July bar exam or delay it (likely about two months) until the Fall. At that time, the NCBE will decide whether it will administer both a July bar exam and a fall bar exam or whether it will only administer a fall bar exam (assuming there is not enough interest in a July bar exam). The questions will be different if both exams are administered.

New: check out this post on where to take the bar exam in 2020!

UPDATE 6/1/20: the NCBE is offering a limited MBE, MEE, MPT exam online on October 5-6 for jurisdictions to use. 

UPDATE 5/5/20: the NCBE states on its website that it will make materials available for a July exam AND both September exams, and it is up to the states to choose an administration or even multiple.

Which States are Delaying the July 2020 Bar Exam?

States will decide relatively soon whether to postpone the July 2020 bar exam. For your convenience, here we list the jurisdictions as well as their decisions to keep the July 2020 bar exam scheduled as-is in July, or to delay it. New York paved the way in deciding to delay the bar exam. And we suspect many states will follow New York’s lead. We will keep this post updated as more states make decisions!

If you have new information, please comment below or contact us so we can update our post!

  • Alabama (AL)JULY EXAM (as of 5/8/20). Also adopted temporary rules for applicants.
  • Alaska (AK)—DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020, dates will be September 9-10, 2020 (as of 4/9/20)
  • Arizona (AZ)—JULY EXAM.  The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on April 6 that law students and grads can practice law under the supervision of a licensed attorney.
  • Arkansas (AR)—JULY EXAM (as of 5/20/20).
  • California (CA)—DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020, dates will be September 9-10, 2020, and administered online with remote/electronic proctoring. (as of 4/27/20)
  • Colorado (CO)—JULY EXAM. But if it cannot be held then it will be rescheduled to September 30 and October 1, 2020. (as of 5/14/20) If the July bar is postponed, Colorado will allow law school graduates to practice law temporarily until the next bar exam administration. (as of 4/23/20)
  • Connecticut (CT)DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020, dates will be September 30-October 1, 2020 (as of 5/6/20)
  • Delaware (DE)—DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020, dates will be September 9-11, 2020 (as of 5/12/20)
  • District of Columbia (DC)—DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020, dates will be September 9-10, 2020 (as of 5/4/20).
  • Florida (FL)—JULY EXAM. Applicants must go through a temperature screening, wear face masks, and remain six feet apart at all times. Those traveling from out of state may be required to quarantine for 14 days (or some other time period) before the exam. (as of 5/5/20)
  • Georgia (GA)—DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020, dates will be September 9-10, 2020 (as of 4/17/20). The Supreme Court of Georgia adopted a temporary rule allowing recent law school grads to practice law before taking the bar exam, along with lawyers who recently moved to Georgia.
  • Hawaii (HI)DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020 (as of 3/31/20), dates will be September 9-10, 2020.
  • Idaho (ID)—plans to administer the July exam as scheduled.
  • Illinois (IL)DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020 (as of 5/1/20), dates will be September 9-10, 2020.
  • Indiana (IN)—JULY EXAM. The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that anyone who graduated after November 2019 can serve as a legal graduate intern until the February 2021 bar, as long as they have not failed any bar exams to that date. (as of 4/8/20). The Indiana Supreme Court announced that the July bar will one day (July 28, 2020), and remote. “The examination shall consist of the Indiana Essay Examination and a series of short answer questions on the topics tested on the Multistate Bar Examination.” (as of 5/7/20) Applicants will be required to have an external camera set up, along with other requirements. (as of 6/1/20)
  • Iowa (IA)—JULY EXAM (as of 5/20/20). If this is not possible, then it will be administered on September 9-10, 2020.
  • Kansas (KS)—JULY EXAM, if possible. It will explore alternatives such as more testing locations and an online version. It will also offer an additional exam on 9/9-9/10 if needed. (as of 4/17/20)
  • Kentucky (KY)—plans to administer July exam (as of 4/15/20)
  • Louisiana (LA)—The Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions plans to administer a one-day exam (as opposed to the traditional three-day exam) on two dates: July 27, 2020 and October 10, 2020. The scope of the exam will be limited and will be announced later. (as of 5/8/20)
  • Maine (ME)DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020, dates will be September 30 and October 1, 2020. (as of 4/15/20) All seats for the exam are filled. (as of 6/3/20)
  • Maryland (MD)DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020, dates will be September 9-10, 2020, administered at multiple locations. (as of 5/22/20)
  • Massachusetts (MA)DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020 (as of 3/30/20), dates will be September 30 and October 1, 2020. The Supreme Judicial Court announced that if the exam cannot be administered on September 30 and October 1, then an exam will be administered remotely on those same dates and grant licensure to Massachusettes only. The Court also expanded the rules for student supervised practice. (as of 4/23/20)
  • Michigan (MI)—ONE DAY EXAM ON JULY 28, 2020. The exam will be online and the essay portion only. (as of 5/18/20)
  • Minnesota (MN)—JULY AND FALL EXAM,  September 9-10, 2020 (as of 5/20/20).
  • Mississippi (MS)—JULY EXAM, with safety measures, including a liability waiver requirement. (as of 5/14/20)
  • Missouri (MO)—JULY EXAM. Plus modified the rules for temporary certification for law school graduates. If the July exam is not possible, the exam will be administered on September 9-10, 2020. The Board is also limiting the applicants to 760 and has found additional testing venues. (as of 4/28/20)
  • Montana (MT)—the State Bar of Montana states on its website that it plans to move ahead with the July bar.
  • Nebraska (NE)—JULY EXAM, with proper safety precautions, plus an additional exam on September 9-10, 2020. In the event the July exam cannot take place, there will be another exam on September 30-October 1. (as of 5/7/20)
  • Nevada (NV)—JULY EXAM, with modifications: the exam will be online and eliminate the MBE portion.  (as of 5/21/20)
  • New Hampshire (NH)DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020 (as of 4/10/20), dates will be September 9-10, 2020 (as of 4/14/20). Spots will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • New Jersey (NJ)DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020 (as of 4/6/20), dates will be September 9-10, 2020. The order also allows for 2020 graduates to temporarily practice law under attorney supervision.
  • New Mexico (NM)DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020, dates unknown at this time. They also plan to develop an “alternative practice program that would provide a limited, supervised opportunity for legal practice” if the September exam is not possible. (as of 4/28/20)
  • New York (NY)DELAYED UNTIL FALL 2020 (as of 3/27/20), dates will be September 9-10, 2020 (as of 4/6/20). The Court of Appeals is waiving certain admissions requirements for this exam, and the Board will “prioritize groups of candidates and expects to announce a staggered schedule for and necessary limitations on applications.” (as of 4/21/20) PRIORITY: The Board announced that applications will be accepted from first-time bar takers who graduated or will graduate in spring 2020 from one of the 15 law schools located in New York state. If there is seating available after the May 15 deadline, a larger group of applicants can apply. (as of 4/30/20). There were a high number of applicants when registration opened on May 5. (as of 5/6/20) The Board is opening up applications to a second pool of candidates on June 2-12, 2020. (as of 5/30/20)
  • North Carolina (NC)—JULY EXAM. If a July exam is not possible then dates will be September 9-10, 2020. (as of 4/20/20) Protective measures will be implemented. (as of 6/3/20)
  • North Dakota (ND)—JULY EXAM (as of 4/10/20). If circumstances change, the exam will be September 9-10, 2020. Also, the number of examinees will be limited to 85. The priority of examinees is outlined here.
  • Ohio (OH)DELAYED UNTIL FALL, dates will be September 9-10, 2020. (as of 4/14/20)
  • Oklahoma (OK)—JULY EXAM, in accordance with CDC guidelines. (as of 5/11/20)
  • Oregon (OR)—JULY EXAM (as of 4/16/20). If this is not possible, it will be moved to the fall. There may be limited seating rules. The Oregon Supreme Court also issued an order with amendments to the bar rules. The maximum number of applicants has been reached. (as of 5/15/20)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)DELAYED UNTIL FALL, dates will be September 9-10, 2020. Also, applicants can practice under the supervision of a licensed attorney. (as of 5/6/20)
  • Rhode Island (RI)—DELAYED UNTIL FURTHER ORDER (as of 4/13/20)
  • South Carolina (SC)—JULY EXAM (as of 5/20/20), and if this is not possible then it will be administered September 9-10, 2020. (as of 6/4/20)
  • South Dakota (SD)—no updates that this time.
  • Tennessee (TN)—BOTH JULY AND FALL EXAM (9/30-10/1/2020) OFFERED (as of 4/17/20). Modified rules allow applicants to practice under the supervision of a licensed attorney until November 15, 2021 (as of 4/2/20). Limited seating of applicants (as of 5/11/20).
  • Texas (TX)—BOTH JULY AND FALL EXAM (9/9-9/11/2020) OFFERED (as of 4/29/20) (the Texas bar is administered over 2.5 days, until it adopts the UBE in February 2021). Also, the order updates the rules for law students to practice under the supervision of a licensed attorney. The Texas Board of Law Examiners updated its website with the prioritization of applicants and safety measures for both exams. (read more here, as of 5/6/20)
  • Utah (UT)—DELAYED UNTIL FALL, dates will be September 30 to October 1, 2020 (as of  5/29/20). The Utah Supreme Court issued an order allowing for eligible law school graduates to be licensed without a bar exam. The requirements are: (1) you must have applied to take the Utah Bar Exam before April 1, 2020, (2) you must have graduated from a law school with 86% or higher 2019 first-time pass rate, (3) perform 360 hours of legal service under the supervision of an experienced attorney, and (4) meet the other requirements of Utah bar members including a character and fitness check and passing the MPRE. Those that do not meet the requirements and applicants who want to be admitted through a bar exam will be able to take a bar exam in Utah (as of 4/21/20)
  • Vermont (VT)—DELAYED UNTIL FALL, dates will be September 9-10, 2020. (as of 4/6/20)
  • Virginia (VA)—JULY EXAM. Plans to administer the July exam, but is making plans for a fall bar exam in the event that the July exam is not possible (as of 3/27/20). The Board announced that it is still figuring out how to administer the exam safely in July. (as of 5/1/20)
  • Washington (WA)—BOTH JULY AND FALL EXAM (9/9-9/10/2020) Washington already has a rule in place allowing for recent law school grads to practice for up to 18 months under attorney supervision. (as of 5/13/20) For applicants taking the July or fall exam, the passing score was changed from a 270 to a 266. (as of May 20, 2020)
  • West Virginia (WV)—JULY EXAM, with safety protocols. (as of 5/27/20)
  • Wisconsin (WI)—No updates at this time. Wisconsin already has the diploma privilege in place.
  • Wyoming (WY)—Plans to administer the July exam. The Wyoming Supreme Court ordered on April 10, 2020 that July 2020 applicants can practice under the supervision of an attorney (temporary admission) if the July exam cannot be administered.
  • American Samoa (AS)—no updates that this time.
  • Guam (GU)—DELAYED UNTIL FALL (as of 4/9/20), dates will be September 9-10, 2020.
  • Northern Mariana Islands (MP)—no updates that this time.
  • Puerto Rico (PR)—The April bar exam was delayed until further notice. There are no updates on the September exam at this time. (as of 4/23/20)
  • Virgin Islands (VI)—DELAYED UNTIL FALL (as of 4/16/20), dates will be September 30 to October 1, 2020. And, there will be limited seating and priority given to certain applicants. (as of 5/28/20)

2 Comments
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    Becky H

    Thanks for keeping track of this!
    Is there a way you could pin this to the top of the blog, so it doesn’t get lost in all the new posts?

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    [email protected]

    Great idea. We just pinned this to the front page. Thanks for the suggestion, Becky!

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