D.C. Adds Space for More Bar Exam Takers

Following up on the Washington D.C. controversy over the limited space available for the July 2022 bar exam, it was announced that a second test site was secured to accommodate an additional 450 exam takers.

Capacity limits for the original D.C. exam venue had generated pushback from law deans across the country who worried their graduates would miss an opportunity to be licensed in the key legal market.

The D.C. Court of Appeals, which oversees the bar exam, has located a second test site at the University of the District of Columbia. This site and the D.C. Armory will provide 1550 candidates the opportunity to sit for the July bar exam in Washington D.C.

There are still concerns that the added site is still not enough space to meet the demand, since 1700-1800 typically take the D.C. July bar exam. A court spokesperson did not immediately clarify whether officials are still continuing to seek additional space.

The Court of Appeals has given first-time examinees from seven local law schools priority registration for the test—a plan that more than 100 out of state law deans called “unfair” in a recent letter to Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby.

In their own message to fellow law deans sent before the new venue was added—deans of six area law schools defended the decision to prioritize local students and said they requested that approach from the court. They noted that the New York Board of Bar Examiners took a similar approach when there was limited space for the September 2020 bar exam.

The court said some examinees may need to take the Uniform Bar Exam in a different jurisdiction and transfer their score to the District of Columbia if all available seats fill up.

It also stated it is reducing its UBE score transfer fee from $418 to $232 for July 2022 test takers and is allowing those examinees to apply before their UBE scores come in, which will expedite their admission.

You can read more about this ongoing issue here.

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