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Supreme Court cancels in-person bar exams in 2020 as precaution, announces remote bar exam Oct. 5-6


The Supreme Court of Kentucky has entered amended order 2020-50 canceling the July 28-29 and Sept. 30-Oct. 1 bar examinations due to ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

To protect the health and safety of bar applicants, employees and volunteers, the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions will administer a remote bar examination offered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners on Oct. 5-6.

All applicants currently registered for either in-person exam will automatically be registered for the remote exam. The Kentucky Office of Bar Examiners will notify applicants of the security, technology and procedural requirements for administration of the remote bar examination.

John D. Minton Jr.

“I want to express my gratitude to Justice Laurance B. VanMeter, the staff of the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions, the members of the Board of Bar Examiners, and the deans of Kentucky’s three law schools for their tremendous efforts to develop a safe and responsible plan for administration of the bar examination,” Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. said. “Despite all precautions, a risk always remains and the recent surge in COVID-19 cases required the Supreme Court to take action to minimize the danger of exposure to applicants.”

Justice VanMeter is the Supreme Court’s liaison to the Kentucky Office of Bar Examiners. “While we were relatively optimistic about holding an in-person exam in July, we were less confident about providing an in-person exam in September,” he said. “Our concern is that a significant number of applicants might be denied the opportunity to test this year or have to take the exam in a different format. Both of those outcomes are unacceptable.”

The Supreme Court also entered amended order 2020-51 revising its temporary rule regarding Supervised Practice of Law Pending Admission. Under the revised order, individuals who applied for the July or September 2020 bar examination and who are now registered for the October remote examination may apply for temporary admission to the Kentucky Bar Association.

The temporary admission would be subject to certain conditions, including supervision by a licensed attorney.

From Supreme Court of Kentucky

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