Florida Scraps Online Bar Exam, Citing Technology Concerns (1)

Aug. 17, 2020, 12:23 PMUpdated: Aug. 17, 2020, 12:39 PM

The Florida Board of Bar Examiners is calling off the state’s bar exam, just days before lawyers in training were set to sit for an online version of the test that determines who can work as an attorney in the Sunshine State.

The oversight group said it hopes to hold the test in October. In the meantime, the board is developing a “supervised practice program,” which will allow certain law school graduates to practice law under supervision by an experienced attorney.

“Despite the board’s best efforts to offer a licensure opportunity in August, it was determined that administering a secure and reliable remote bar examination in August was not technically feasible.”

Florida is among several states that scrapped their July in-person exams and moved online as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The decision comes amid growing concerns about online bar exams, which are being held for the first time in states across the country.

Officials in Michigan said the state’s July online test was targeted by hackers who briefly interrupted the exam.

Health concerns surrounding in-person exams and questions about whether online tests can be properly administered have bolstered calls to allow at least some law school graduates to practice law without having passed the test.

(Updated to include information of temporary licensing program.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Opfer in New York at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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