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Ohio Bar Exam goes online as California, other states adjust

Technology for Lawyers

Published: August 7, 2020

The Ohio state bar exam has been rescheduled from September to October 5 and 6 and has shifted to an online format because of the Coronavirus emergency.
Ohio’s July exam, which was first delayed because of the pandemic, was scheduled for September 9-10. The Ohio Office of Bar Admissions website says: “In all discussions regarding the Bar Exam, The Supreme Court of Ohio is working with public health officials to monitor and assess proper safety measures for exam administration. Additional information regarding both the particulars of the Bar Exam, and changes to Practice Pending Admission during the Admission to the Practice of Law Process for recent law school graduates, will be forthcoming.”
California has also gone through that thought process and come out on the other side. The California Supreme Court has made several pandemic-related adjustments to the state’s fall bar examination, including shifting the exam to an online format.
In addition to ordering that the fall California bar exam be moved to an online format, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that the passing (cut) grade for the test would be lowered by several points, bringing the state closer in line with other states’ passing grades. California’s passing grade cut out people who would have passed in other states.
Law school graduates will also be granted provisional licenses to practice. The Court stopped short of granting diplomas for students who were not able to complete their classwork, as several other states have done.
The provisional license, while a temporary measure, will be in place until at least June 2022.
They methods various other states have implemented to adjust to this new reality vary across the country. Many are delaying the test and then implementing seating restrictions, along with testing, social distancing and other appropriate protocols for in-person testing which will take place in the fall.
Other states have a variety of solutions. Arkansas, for instance, scheduled itself to go forward with their July exam, but granted a temporary license to anyone who did not want to sit for the exam because of the pandemic.
If you want to check out what each state is doing with its bar exams during the pandemic, here’s your resource: https://www.justia.com/covid-19/50-state-covid-19-resources/bar-exam-modifications-during-covid-19-50-state-resources/