The New York Court of Appeals has announced today that it will administer the February 2021 bar exam remotely.
The announcement comes in the same month that New York just completed its first-ever remote bar exam on Oct. 5-6, which was rescheduled from July and considered to be on a one-time emergency basis due to the pandemic.
“Although the Court originally anticipated that a remote exam would be administered on a one-time basis, the threat posed by the pandemic has not abated sufficiently to permit the Board to safely conduct in-person testing of large numbers of bar applicants in New York, and it is therefore necessary to again consider a remote option,” said the Court of Appeals in a statement. “Accordingly, in consultation with the Board of Law Examiners and the chair of the Working Group, the Hon. Howard A. Levine, and at the urging of the deans of the New York law schools, the Court has determined that New York will administer a remote bar exam in February 2021.”
Officials said details concerning the eligibility criteria and registration process for the February bar exam will be announced by the Board before the application filing period is scheduled to open on Nov. 1, 2020.
The Court of Appeals’ decision comes just two days after the National Conference of Bar Examiners announced it will make a full set of exam materials available, requiring jurisdictions to choose between an in-person or remote administration of the February exam.
In its statement, the Court of Appeals said that while the Board of Law Examiners continues to gather and study the data from New York’s October remote exam, its preliminary assessment is that “it was a very successful administration of the bar examination.”
Of the 5,167 applicants who downloaded the exam software and were scheduled to take the October remote exam, all but 17 successfully completed the entire exam. The Court said it thanks the Board and the staff for their hard work and dedication, the exam-takers for their patience and perseverance and the New York law schools for their assistance in this process, particularly in making space available for those in need of a suitable testing venue.
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