Florida Changes Bar Exam Date, Moves Online

Florida Changes Bar Exam Date, Moves Online

Two days after canceling the in-person bar exam, the Florida Supreme Court announced on July 1st that they are taking the Bar exam online. 

The new online exams will happen on August 18, 2020. 

The Florida Bar of Board Examiners has been juggling the dates, leaving students in utter confusion and dismay over their future. The exam was previously scheduled on July 28th and 29th, based on the traditional model. The standard two-part exam comprises a written exam on the first day and the Multistate Bar Examination, with multiple choice questions on the next. 

In order to accommodate the pandemic-induced social distancing measures, half the test takers were to attend the exam in Tampa, and the other half in Orlando. 

However, following an outcry concerning the safety of the in-person portion of the exam, the council has been urged to reconsider the dates. 

The Change to Online Bar Exam

The decision to cancel in-person exams occurred after a widespread disagreement on how the Bar examiners were managing the issue. Law students and professors voiced their concerns over social distancing measures and how effective an in-person season would be. 

State lawmakers have also been pressuring the board to reconsider their decision, as there was a notable increase in the daily number of COVID-19-positive cases in the state. Several petitions took over the internet on behalf of law graduates and requested people to send impactful statements and emails to urge the decisions. The tacts have certainly worked. 

Authorities said that the previous decision was made based on the “then-available” public health information and consulting with the Florida Department of Health and other medical experts. However, after considering the increased spread of COVID-19 in Florida, authorities have concluded to change their plan for the General Bar Examination. As of 22nd July, Florida has recorded a total number of nearly 370,000 positive COVID-19 cases, with over 5000 deaths reported. 

The online version of the Bar exam will be slightly different. The test will combine both the written essays and the multi-choice questions into one single exam. 

Alternatives to Bar Exams

Florida is not the only state shuffling the dates of online bar exams. A number of states, including Wisconsin, Utah, Washington, and Oregon, allow their state graduates to bypass the Bar exams and practice law in the respective states. 

However, in some states, law graduates are also facing a dilemma over how to proceed in their profession and finding jobs without a bar license. New York has dropped the September Bar exam, without setting an alternate date. 

Dean Deidre Keller, the new dean of Florida A&M University, one of the best law school in Florida, praised the decision of the court to postpone the exam and for prioritizing the safety of the candidates. 

Students still have questions regarding the online exam plans. The Bar Examiners will hopefully reveal more information on the online exams, its pattern, and the technology. Regardless, the petitioners are exhilarated that their objective was achieved for not having to travel for a bar exam in Florida in 2010.

 

 

 

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