NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Because of problems caused by the continuing coronavirus pandemic, the state’s next two bar exams will be open book and administered by email, the Louisiana Supreme Court said in an order Wednesday.
The step is necessary because the court’s Committee on Bar Admissions says it cannot use its current software vendor to administer the exams scheduled Aug. 24 and Oct. 10 online, Chief Justice Bernette Johnson wrote.
Some other states have had problems with online bar exams.
Applicants may use outside materials to complete the exam but cannot ask for or accept help from any person, the order said. Anyone found to have broken that rule will be automatically flunked and not allowed to retake the test for five years.
Three weeks earlier, the court said recent law school graduates can practice law without the exam if they take extra courses and go through a state bar mentoring program. That order was restricted to students who graduated since Dec. 1 from one of Louisiana's four accredited law schools, and who had applied to take the in-person exam in July — a date that was canceled — or October.
It didn't cover attorneys or law school graduates from other states who want to practice in Louisiana, or to people who failed earlier bar exams.
The deadline for all applications to take the bar exam was May 30, court spokeswoman Trina Vincent said.
Three justices dissented from the July 22 order, but there were no dissents to the one on Wednesday.