Daily Briefs

February 2021 bar exam to be remote online test

The Michigan Supreme Court announced last Friday that the Board of Law Examiners (BLE) will administer a remote, online examination on February 23 and 24, 2021. The exam will consist of the traditional two-day format containing 15 Michigan law-based essays and 200 multiple choice questions known as the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) offered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). In-person testing will be provided to applicants who qualify for such accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To implement the decision, the court entered an order pursuant to its constitutional and statutory authority to supervise and regulate the practice of law. As with the prior bar exam – the nation’s first ever remote bar exam – individuals who need to access a quiet space or reliable internet should contact their law schools to determine what arrangements may be available with appropriate measures to protect their health.

The BLE recommended that the Court take this action based on the following considerations:

• The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services restrictions on indoor groups of more than 50 people and the increasing COVID-19 cases in Michigan and nationwide.

• The NCBE is providing the full 200 question MBE for remote testing.

• The MBE is only available for one set of dates in February, which would not allow the BLE to hold the exam on an alternative date if current restrictions were still in place at that time.

• The software provider of the BLE’s in-person laptop exams (the same provider used by the NCBE for the MBE portion of the exam) and the July 2020 remote exam has confirmed its ability to conduct an online exam in February 2021.

• Technical problems resulting from a denial of service attack during July 2020 exam period were quickly resolved, affected applicants were given extra time, and all test takers were able to complete the test.

• Expert evaluation of July 2020 test scores revealed that the technical problem did not have an impact on test scores.

The court is moving to implement the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) for future testing. By next year, the UBE (which allows an applicant’s score to be transferred between UBE jurisdictions) will be used by nearly 40 jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Webinar to discuss expungements in 2021 to take place Jan. 12

The Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan (CDAM) will present the webinar “Empty Your Head Of  (Nearly) Everything You Thought You Knew About Expungements” on Tuesday, January 12, from 11 a.m. to noon via Zoom.

This webinar will address the new “set aside” statutes that become effective April 11, 2021.  Speaking at the program will be Margaret Sind Raben of Gurewitz & Raben PLC.
Cost for the webinar is $30.  To register, visit cdam.wildapricot.org and click on “events.”


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