ABA urges states that cancel bar exams due to COVID-19 to consider alternatives

The American Bar Association Board of Governors approved a policy resolution on April 7 that urges state licensing authorities to immediately adopt emergency rules that would authorize 2019 and 2020 law graduates who cannot take a bar exam because of the pandemic to engage in a limited practice of law under certain circumstances.

The rare policy resolution by the ABA board seeks to allow last year’s and upcoming graduates of ABA-approved law schools to practice under the supervision of a licensed attorney if the July bar exam in their jurisdiction is canceled or postponed due to public health and safety concerns arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

The ABA recommendation would apply to only first-time bar takers and these individuals would have the ability to practice through 2021 without passing the bar exam