DC Court of Appeals Cancels July DC Bar Exam; Considers Possible Fall Exam Date

Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby of the DC Court of Appeals announced today that the Court will not administer the July 2020 DC Bar Exam due to the ongoing public health emergency arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. “While we are making this decision several months in advance, we believe it necessary given the uncertainty that we currently face, including no firm date on which public gatherings - such as taking an exam - will be allowed. We do not make this decision lightly, understanding the impact it has on hundreds of recent law graduates and others seeking admission to the DC Bar,” she said just after the Court issued the order. She indicated that the Court will make will make an announcement regarding the feasibility of a fall exam by early May.

"The Court understands that recent law school graduates are anxious to be certified to practice law as soon as possible, but we must balance that with public safety and our obligation to protect the public by ensuring that persons licensed to practice law in the District are competent and possess the requisite character and fitness," the Chief Judge continued. "In the next few weeks, we will not only evaluate whether a fall exam will be possible, but we will also explore options that would allow law school graduates seeking bar admission in D.C. to practice here on a temporary basis should the pandemic adversely affect our regular admissions process for an extended period."

The DC Court of Appeals will make a decision on a Fall exam by early May and is considering expanding the rules to allow recent law school graduates to practice law in DC on a temporary basis. For more information, please check the Committee on Admissions webpage, which will be updated no later than May 4, 2020, with further details.

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