New York moved quickly to cancel the July examination and move the test to September. At the time, it signaled an abundance of caution. Now the state has come to terms with the fact that even September will be too soon for an in-person exam.
The BOLE announced the change today:
In light of accelerating public health concerns and continuing governmental restrictions, the Board of Law Examiners has concluded that an in-person bar exam cannot be safely administered on September 9-10, 2020. Participants’ health and safety must remain our top priority and, because conditions have not sufficiently improved, the September exam has been cancelled. Please continue to monitor this website for updates regarding the New York bar exam. Additional information can be found in the Court of Appeals’ statement, available here.
When a determination is made as to a future exam, the Board will announce how the application fees paid by candidates currently registered for the September exam will be handled.
This was probably inevitable after New Jersey pulled the plug on the Fall examination. While the statement leaves open the possibility of a further delayed exam, now that the state legislature is pondering diploma privilege, this move might just be a formality on the path to a fully canceled 2020 exam.
For now, applicants no longer have to worry about studying up to September 15 and having the rug pulled out from under them.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.