Although the testing software was supposed to allow individuals to take the July 2020 Indiana Bar Exam while remaining safely in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, the technology malfunctioned so badly that the Indiana Supreme Court will be forced to administer the test by relying on email and the applicants’ integrity.
The Indiana Supreme Court issued an order Wednesday again revamping the July 2020 bar exam, opting to send test questions by email and allowing applicants to refer to notes and course materials during the test. The test is still scheduled to be administered remotely Tuesday under the new format.
The Hoosier state is postponing its bar exam by one week to Aug. 4, because of ongoing problems with the testing software, the Indiana Supreme Court announced Friday afternoon.
A late change in the way the Indiana bar exam will be administered has raised sufficient fears of some applicants about the potential for wide-spread cheating that they are asking the test to be open-book. But the Indiana Supreme Court rejected a petition from dozens of law school graduates who will take the bar exam remotely next week.
The nearly 500 applicants who have registered to take the Indiana Bar Exam in July will need to have external webcams, quiet rooms and be prepared to write extensively for the test that will be given remotely for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus emergency is forcing many changes to legal education in Indiana. Law schools and the judiciary are changing procedures, canceling events and finding alternatives as the prohibitions on large gatherings appear likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Noting the uncertainty over whether the bar exam will be administered in July, the Indiana Supreme Court has issued an order that will allow the law school Class of 2020 to represent clients and do legal work on a limited basis.
The Indiana Rules for Admission to the Bar and the Discipline of Attorneys now include language addressing pro bono publico licenses following amendments made by the Indiana Supreme Court that will take effect next year.
As predicted, the February 2019 bar exam results rose after the appeals process, but the overall passage rate of 50 percent is still the lowest in at least the past 17 years.
As the Indiana legal profession begins to draw conclusions from the February 2019 bar exam results in which fewer than half of test-takers passed, it might want to keep in mind Yogi Berra’s observation: It ain’t over till it’s over.
A 14-member study commission appointed to review the Indiana Bar Exam in light of the ongoing decline in passage rates will hold a series of 10 monthly meetings, all open to the public, at the Indiana Statehouse beginning next week.
Amid slumping passage rates, the Indiana Supreme Court has created a special commission to review the state’s bar exam and make recommendations for changes in format or content, including whether to modify what is considered a passing score.
The final passage rates for the July 2018 Indiana bar exam show 65 percent of all takers successfully completed the test, a result that is closely aligned with recent years. Final results for the July 2018 exam were released Friday by the Indiana Board of Law Examiners.
Every jurisdiction evaluates applicants for character and fitness, according to the 2018 Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements published by the National Conference of Bar Examiners in collaboration with the American Bar Association. But Indiana is among a handful of states that mandates all applicants for the bar undergo a character and fitness review.