As we previously covered, New York has already rescheduled the July 2020 bar exam for September 9-10 and is still working out logistics for exactly how the exam will be administered.  In addition to the logistical issues, the delay in administering the bar exam also has potential financial consequences for unadmitted lawyers who cannot practice until they are admitted and cannot get admitted until they pass the bar exam.  In an effort to address these concerns, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced that the four Appellate Divisions in the state are creating a program to allow law graduates to engage in the limited practice of law before they are fully admitted.

Although the specifics of the program will be left to the four Appellate Divisions, the Chief Judge's announcement included the following high-level requirements:

  • The program will be available to all first time test takers including both J.D. and LL.M. candidates "irrespective of their graduation year";
  •  All eligible candidates must be supervised by a qualified attorney in good standing who has been admitted to practice law in New York for at least three years;
  • The program will last through the candidates' swearing-in date so long as the candidates "pass their first bar examination no later than 2021 and promptly seek admission to the bar following the release of exam results"; and
  • The program will supplement (and not replace) other existing practice orders that permit the supervised practice of law in New York. 

Check back for more updates as this issue evolves.