UPDATE (4/28/2020) Information about Bar Admissions and COVID-19
In furtherance of ongoing efforts to mitigate the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court of Missouri issued an order April 28, 2020, temporarily modifying Rule 8 related to administering the July 2020 exam and Rule 13 related to law student certifications. At this time, the Missouri bar exam is proceeding as scheduled on July 28 and 29, and the final application deadline remains June 1, 2020. In the event the bar exam cannot be administered in July, the exam will be held on September 9-10, 2020.
Any properly filed applicant for the July 2020 exam may postpone and carry forward the application fee to the February 2021 exam, and the postponement fee will be waived. To be eligible for the fee waiver, applicants must notify the Missouri Board of Law Examiners (board) in writing on or before June 15, 2020, of their intent to postpone taking the exam to February 2021.
For law students with active Rule 13 certifications who apply for the July 2020 bar exam and choose to postpone taking the exam until February 2021, their certification will remain in effect until after the results for the February 2021 bar exam are released. For students who pass that exam, the certification shall continue in effect until the date they are admitted to the bar. Certifications for students taking a bar exam held either in July or on the alternative 2020 date will remain in effect until the announcement of the results for that exam, and for students who pass that exam shall continue in effect until the date they are admitted to the bar. Information about how to obtain a Rule 13 certification, is available at Rule 13.
Pursuant to the authority provided in the Court’s order, the board is limiting the number of July 2020 exam applications that will be accepted for filing, effective April 30. The Board will accept no more than 760 applications, and if the maximum number is reached prior to the June 1 application deadline, the registration period for the July 2020 exam will be closed. At this time, the July 2020 exam registration period is open and the deadline remains June 1. Applications properly filed on or after April 30 will be accepted in the order received, up to the maximum number, with priority afforded equally to Missouri residents, graduates of ABA-approved law schools located in Missouri or a contiguous state, licensed attorneys for an employer located in Missouri, and recipients of an offer of employment as a licensed attorney for an employer located in Missouri. No application to retake the exam will be accepted for filing on or after April 30 if the applicant has sat for four or more prior administrations of the Missouri bar exam.
The board has secured additional testing venues to increase seating capacity in the event social distancing and mass gathering restrictions require modification to the July test administration. The board will post a notice on its website regarding the additional testing venues and notify individual examinees prior to the exam where they will be testing.
The Court’s order also provides the board authority to further limit the number of examinees ultimately allowed to sit for the exam if official national, state, or local orders in effect as of June 15, 2020, prevent administering the test to all applicants. The board anticipates making a decision on or about June 15 if limits on test takers must be imposed because of restrictions on gathering sizes and posting a notice on its website. Per the Court’s order, applicants will be approved for testing based on the order in which their properly filed applications were received, with priority afforded equally to Missouri residents, graduates of ABA-approved law schools located in Missouri or a contiguous state, licensed attorneys for an employer located in Missouri, and recipients of an offer of employment as a licensed attorney for an employer located in Missouri. If limits on test takers are imposed, applicants who have sat for four or more prior administrations of the Missouri bar exam will not be allowed to test. Postponement fees will be waived for applicants who are not allowed to test because of limits imposed on the number of examinees.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Court’s order also implements health directives for the day of testing, consistent with guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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