Is The February Bar Exam Still Being Held In Person?

While we know that almost every state intends to hold the February 2022 Bar Exam in-person, most of these jurisdictions still do not have plans in place for how exactly the exam is to be administered.

In June, the National Conference of Bar Examiners indicated that it would only make materials available for an in-person administration of the February 2022 Bar Exam.

This statement came before the July 2021 Bar Exam was administered remotely in 29 jurisdictions. If this is still the plan, states need to be making hiring, staffing, and general funding decisions now and state bar admissions staff must be given the resources needed to immediately get information to applicants.

At least two jurisdictions—Maryland and D.C.—have imposed seat limits. Both the seat limiting capacity and the wait list are full for Washington D.C. Additionally, Vermont has a policy reserving the right to implement a wait list if Covid-19 protocols warrant a seat limitation at their two testing locations.

Aside from these, there are no comprehensive public plans on how states will physically administer the upcoming exam. Perhaps those are coming, but anxious bar examinees whom are completing bar applications and beginning bar review courses should not need to constantly check emails and websites for exam day Covid protocol updates.

Covid rules that require masks, current vaccinations or negative test results, and distancing rules at test sites are presumably going to be implemented, but many of these policies have yet to be posted.

Spreading examinees out and verifying vaccination status takes space and time. Renting additional venues for multiple exam locations costs money, and hiring more proctors costs more as well. And having extended check-in times to verify vaccination status requires arriving at the exam site earlier, longer waits, and the potential for a delay in start times.

Hopefully we will receive some clarification and guidance about these policies very soon.

You can read more about this issue here.

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