COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Recent law school graduates will have the ability to temporarily practice law in Ohio under the supervision of an experienced attorney while they wait to take the bar exam, the state's highest court has decided.

The Ohio Supreme Court's announcement Thursday came on the heels of its decision to postpone the bar exam originally scheduled for July until Sept. 9-10, due to risks surrounding the new coronavirus.

Recent law graduates can apply to use the supervised practice option beginning June 15. The attorney or attorneys who supervise them must be in good standing and have practiced for at least three years.

The deans of the nine Ohio law schools and the one at Northern Kentucky University, along with state and city bar association leaders, proposed the rule to enable recent graduates to begin their legal careers.

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor said in a statement that delaying graduates' ability to practice law would create significant financial hardship for many. She said providing flexibility also acknowledges the need for lawyers in certain critical areas during the pandemic.

Qualifying graduates must take the bar in September. If they don't pass, the temporary practice privilege will end.