The Illinois Supreme Court announced today that due to COVID-19, the Illinois bar exam, originally scheduled for July 28-29, 2020, has been postponed to September 9-10, 2020.
The Court also entered an order to relax the rules for administering the bar exam. The order allows the Illinois Board of Admission to the Bar the flexibility to prepare for and administer the exam in a way that maintains the health and well-being of all applicants and those involved with administering the exam. The rules are relaxed until further Court order.
“This decision was made after careful consideration of the health and safety issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said in the press release. “The Court would like to thank the Board, the law school deans, and other stakeholders for their helpful input.”
The Status of the Bar Nationally
States including California, New York, Georgia, and Pennsylvania have moved their bar exam to September. Others including Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas have opted to allow supervised / provisional practice until bar exams can be taken or bar exam results are announced.
On April 7, the American Bar Association’s Board of Governors adopted a resolution urging jurisdictions to cancel the July bar and allow 2019 and 2020 law graduates to practice law under supervision until they’re able to take the bar exam in 2021.
The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) will decide by May 5 whether there is enough demand to administer the July bar. In the meantime, it has committed to making materials available for two fall 2020 administrations: September 9-10 and September 30-October 1.
A map showing the current status of the July 2020 bar exam in each jurisdiction can be found on the NCBE’s website.
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