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The Florida State Bar examination will be held online only on Tuesday, October 13. The Bar exam was originally supposed to take place on August 19 but was canceled. Read more about that cancellation and its subsequent consequences in our “Law Students Plan Protest Ahead of Florida Bar Exam Postponement” post.
If needed for some test-takers, the exam will extend to Wednesday, October 14.
The state Supreme Court established August 24 a supervised practice program that let some applicants for the August 2020 Bar exam work under the supervision of a licensed attorney during the pandemic.
Before the pandemic hit the United States in March, the exams were scheduled for July in Orlando and in Tampa, where thousands of law students typically would sit for as long as two days of testing at the Tampa Convention Center. But health concerns over the ongoing pandemic got the exam moved online. An August 18 test date was moved to August 19 to make sure everyone could vote in Florida’s primary election. The exam was to be administered through software developed by ILG Technologies.
Unfortunately for hopeful lawyers, it was cancelled because of repeated glitches in the system.
Test-takers will need computers installed with the necessary software from ExamSoft for the October test date. More information about the software installation and mock exams to familiarize people with the program will be available in September, according to the release.
Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady apologized via video for the state’s failure to get the exam done and vowed it would go forward in October. More than 100 Florida lawyers signed on to a petition asking for an emergency rule allowing prospective lawyers to forgo the test in favor of a plan that would include supervised practice of law and a “pathway to admission” that doesn’t rely completely on the tough exam.
According to the Florida Bar of Examiners website, the administration of the test in October “will be three essay questions and 100 multiple-choice questions on the same content as the examination that had been scheduled for August. All multiple choice questions will be based on Florida law, and will test the following seven subjects: Florida Rules of Civil Procedure; Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure; Torts; Business Entities; Evidence; Wills; and Trusts.”
You may read more on the Florida Bar of Examiners website.
Other subjects that are normally available for testing under the current Bar Admissions Rules will not be tested in October. The board will provide more information to applicants in early September about software installation instructions and the mock examinations to familiarize them with the program that will be used for the examination.
The Florida Supreme Court has also elected to appoint a Registrant Advocate to aid in assuring that registrant’s concerns about administration of this examination are timely addressed. Details about the Registrant Advocate’s role will also be announced once finalized.
Judge Canady said the Court and the Bar Examiners will take steps to improve their communications about the Bar exam and to make sure there are backup plans for future uncertainties caused by the pandemic.