California to allot more time for period in which law graduates are to complete the Bar exam
It was during the spring of 2020 when California, along with many other states, faced issues related to the bar exam. The in-person examination was not possible at the time due to COVID-19 protocols–in-person test-taking of the bar exam acted as breeding grounds for the virus, with rows and rows of students working less than 6 feet apart from one another.
California initially enacted the Provisional Licensure Progam in the spring of 2020. This program allowed law graduates to be temporarily licensed as attorneys in the state of California, as long as they had the supervision of a fully licensed lawyer who would assume full responsibility for their work throughout the duration of the licensure program. The program was only supposed to be effective until June 1st of 2020, but the State Bar of California pushed it back to Dec. 31, 2022.
“We recognize that many of the challenges the pandemic wrought are still with us, and in some cases program participants need more time and resources to fulfill the program’s requirements,” Ruben Duran chairman of the state bar’s board of trustees said.
On Jan. 28, 2021, the California Supreme Court expanded the program to apply only to law graduates who scored higher than a 1390 on the bar exam between 2015-2020. Those who fall under this category do not have to take the exam again if they complete 300 hours of supervision practicing law through the Provisional Licensure Program and their supervisors approve of their work. Those who successfully do so, are admitted into the State Bar in California.
The Supreme Court extended the program until December 31, 2022, on May 26, 2022.
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