As we previously reported, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced New York to reschedule the bar exam, typically administered in July, for September 9-10, 2020. Over the past several months, the New York Board of Law Examiners (BOLE) has struggled with the best way to manage registration for the September exam given that seating for the exam will be severely limited. We previously covered BOLE's decision to give graduates of the fifteen New York-based law schools first priority on registration. Shortly after the first registration period, BOLE announced that it was opening a second registration period for "any candidate who graduated with a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school located outside of New York, and who has not previously sat for a bar exam in any U.S. jurisdiction."
Over the weekend, BOLE announced that it would be opening a third application period for "any candidate who graduated with an LL.M. degree from an ABA-accredited law school located outside of New York, and who has not previously sat for a bar exam in any U.S. jurisdiction." BOLE also noted that candidates who were required to obtain an LL.M. degree in order to sit for the New York bar exam and "who have not previously received a preliminary determination of eligibility following review of their foreign credentials will not be permitted to sit for the September exam."
As with previous announcements, BOLE also cautioned that it cannot guarantee seating to candidates who register during the application period and that it is assessing available seating on an ongoing basis. Although it is still unlikely that all of the potential applicants will be able to sit for the September exam, BOLE's recent announcement is certainly promising in comparison to the initial limitations in place when registration first opened.