The New York Board of Law Examiners (BOLE) and the New York Court of Appeals recently announced that owing to the ongoing risks from COVID-19, the February 2021 Bar Exam will be held remotely. BOLE administered the first online bar exam in October, which we covered here and here.
According to the announcement, the February exam "will be composed of all components of the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) and will provide candidates with a portable score that can be transferred to other UBE jurisdictions." This is different from the remote exam that BOLE administered in September, which was more limited in scope and could only be transferred into jurisdictions that had reached specific reciprocity agreements for the online exam. This time, it appears that BOLE (and likely other jurisdictions which use the same exam) will administer the full UBE online, which may allow test takers more options for where to take the exam.
Even though the exam is remote, BOLE is administering registration on a rolling basis and limiting registration to certain categories of applicants. According to the announcement, the applicants eligible for the first wave of registration (November 1-15) include:
1. First-time Juris Doctor candidates who (1) graduated from an ABA-approved law school in the United States in 2020, who will graduate in January or February 2021, or who are eligible as Pro Bono Scholars, and (2) who did not take any bar examination (in person or remotely) in any U.S. state, district or territory during 2020.
2. Juris Doctor candidates who (1) graduated from an ABA-approved law school in the United States between 2016 and 2020 and (2) who sat for at least one prior bar exam in New York between July 2016 and February 2020.
After the first application filing period closes, there will be a short pause in the process and the application numbers will be assessed. A second application filing period will then open.
For more information and the latest updates, including a list of executive orders, be sure to monitor our COVID-19 Resources Page for New York Lawyers.
Even though the exam is remote, BOLE is administering registration on a rolling basis and limiting registration to certain categories of applicants.