New York will “prioritize” who can take bar exam
As noted in prior posts, New York as rescheduled its bar exam to Wednesday, September 9, 2020 and Thursday, September 10, 2020.
UPDATE: PRIORITY: The Board announced that applications will be accepted from first-time bar takers who graduated or will graduate in spring 2020 from one of the 15 law schools located in New York state. If there is seating available after the May 15 deadline, a larger group of applicants can apply. (as of 4/30/20)
It has also noted that the application period will open on May 5 and close on May 30. Please see the New York State Board of Law Examiners page for more information.
New York also added this announcement to its page:
HOWEVER, DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE BOARD DOES NOT EXPECT TO BE ABLE TO USE THE LARGE VENUES IT TYPICALLY USES TO ADMINISTER THE EXAM, THE BOARD WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TEST ALL THE CANDIDATES WHO WOULD TYPICALLY APPLY TO TAKE A JULY BAR EXAM. THE BOARD WILL BE REQUIRED TO PRIORITIZE GROUPS OF CANDIDATES AND EXPECTS TO ANNOUNCE A STAGGERED SCHEDULE FOR AND NECESSARY LIMITATIONS ON APPLICATIONS.
In other words, you may not be able to take the New York bar exam if you are not “priority”.
Note that New York does not say who they will prioritize (first-time takers? 2020 graduates? 2020 graduates from New York law schools?) and who they will deprioritize (repeat takers who have repeatedly failed the bar exam? foreign graduates?)?
Making a vague announcement certainly does not help settle bar exam takers down but at least it does give bar exam takers a heads up that maybe it is worth it to apply to take the bar exam in a state other than New York, if possible. Any UBE score that is passing in New York (266) should be able to be transferred to New York.
Where else should you apply to take the bar exam?
If you were planning on taking the New York bar exam, but want a back-up, these are some things to consider:
- take the bar exam where there is a decent pass rate
- take the bar exam where there is a lower number of Covid-19 cases (the best would be less than 2,000 registered cases. If a state has a lot of Covid-19 cases, check to see if a convention center where the bar exam is typically offered is being used as a makeshift hospital, then consider not applying in that jurisdiction as you may run into the same issue)
- take the bar exam in a less popular jurisdiction
- consider travel costs to the jurisdiction
- consider where it is still possible to apply (note: some states may change application deadlines so keep an eye on that)
Some ideas are below. Our general recommendation is:
- Overall, based on the current number of reported Covid-19 cases, we suggest students apply for the Minnesota bar exam if students still want to sign up for July.
- If students want to sign for a possible fall exam (assuming there is no July 2020 bar exam), based on the current number of reported Covid-19 cases, we suggest students apply for the bar exam in Iowa, Kansas, Montana, or Minnesota.
Note: Examples of convention centers that are currently being used for medical purposes (or are slated to be used for medical purposes):
- https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/03/27/coronavirus-air-national-guard-readies-convention-center-for-covid-19-patients/ (Santa Clara)
- https://www.pasadenastarnews.com/2020/04/06/pasadena-convention-center-to-be-used-for-coronavirus-patients/ (Pasadena)
- Illinois: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/04/02/coronavirus-cases-illinois-convention-center-transforms-into-hospital/5113486002/
- Louisiana: https://www.wwltv.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/1000-beds-at-convention-center-field-hospital-to-help-with-surge-capacity/289-d8a4bfc1-ffa6-4124-a545-40961d5fd64d
- Massachusetts: https://www.wcvb.com/article/boston-convention-and-exhibition-center-will-become-massachusetts-coronavirus-field-hospital/32011391
- New Jersey: https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/coronavirus/2020/03/24/nj-coronavirus-update-field-hospitals-coming-meadowlands-edison/2910881001/
- New York: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/javits-center-coronavirus-field-hospital/2020/04/04/50bdbf32-75b2-11ea-87da-77a8136c1a6d_story.html
Looking to Pass the Bar Exam?
- 🌟Bar Exam Free Resource Center: Access our most popular free guides, webinars, and resources to set you on the path to success.
- Free Bar Exam Guides: Expert advice on the MBE, the MEE, passing strategies, and overcoming failure.
- Free Webinars: Get insight from top bar exam experts to ace your preparation.
- 🏆One-Sheets: Our most popular product! Master the Bar Exam with these five-star rated essentials.
- Exclusive Mastery Classes: Dive deep into highly tested areas of the MBE, MEE, MPT, and CA bar exams in these live, one-time events.
- Specialized Private Tutoring: With years of experience under our belt, our experts provide personalized guidance to ensure you excel.
- Bar Exam Courses: On Demand and Premium options tailored to your needs.
- Bar Exam Crash Course + Mini Outlines: A great review of the topics you need to know!