The first-ever multijurisdiction online bar exam is in the books, and bar authorities in many states have deemed the pandemic-prompted experiment a success—citing high completion rates among the approximately 30,0000 law grads who took the remote test. Among the many bar examiners breathing a sigh of relief is Judith Gundersen, president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), the organization that develops the exam components.
It has been a long—and wild—bar exam cycle characterized by shifting plans and forceful advocacy by law graduates who felt that requiring them to sit for a licensing exam during a pandemic was unnecessary and even cruel. Ultimately, there were three separate in-person administrations spread across July and September, a large online exam given Monday and Tuesday, and several online exams given earlier by individual states. Five states are allowing law graduates to become licensed without taking the exam. And it’s not over yet: Florida will give a one-day, online bar exam Oct. 13, while Louisiana has delayed the one-day exam it planned for Oct. 10 to Oct. 20 due to an incoming hurricane.