DC Court of Appeals Extends Deadline for Application for Online Bar Exam; Obtains Reciprocity with Two Other Jurisdictions

The DC Court of Appeals issued an order Friday, July 10, extending the deadline for applying for the District's October remote bar exam until 5pm on July 15, 2020. . The court took this action in response to input from law school graduates to provide additional time for those who may feel uncertain about other options for licensure or who may feel safer taking the exam remotely, given the increasing severity of the pandemic in many jurisdictions. This deadline extension also gives law school graduates additional time to consider the court’s new reciprocity agreement in their application plans.

The Court also announced it had reached an agreement earlier this week with Massachusetts and Maryland on 'portability' of the scores of the jurisdictions' remote exams. This agreement is the first to allow 'portability' of non-Uniform Bar Exam scores amongst jurisdictions giving the remote exam, a concept first proposed by DC Court of Appeals Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby.

The agreement calls for consistent grading, scoring, and exam administration practices so that each jurisdiction will have sufficient confidence in the other jurisdictions' scores to accept them. DC is continuing to reach out to other jurisdictions that have adopted the National Conference of Bar Examiners' remote exam with the hope of expanding the number of jurisdictions who agree to accept each others' scores.

"We are pleased to offer this extension, so that interested law school graduates across the country have the option of taking the DC Bar Exam online, from the safety of their own homes," said Chief Judge Blackburne-Rigsby. "We are living in unprecedented times, and the court is working to accommodate the needs of those seeking bar admission, so long as we can do that in a way that is safe from a health perspective and provides not just DC community members, but other jurisdictions' as well, assurance that members of the DC Bar have the requisite knowledge to practice law." 

Interested persons should monitor the Court of Appeals' page of the DC Courts website: www.dccourts.gov/court-of-appeals.