Michigan Supreme Court order revises format for the July bar examination

The Michigan Supreme Court released the following order regarding the July 2020 bar exam:

Administrative Order No. 2020-15

In recognition of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, in light of various current and projected pandemic-related restrictions, and pursuant to the Court’s constitutional and statutory authority to supervise and regulate the practice of law, 1963 Const, Art VI, Sec 5, and MCL 600.904, and in consultation with the Board of Law Examiners (Board), the Court orders that in lieu of the two-day exam previously scheduled for July 28-29, 2020, a one-day exam will be administered on July 28, 2020. The exam will be conducted online, and will consist solely of the essay portion of the traditional exam.

The Board will inform applicants of the specific instructions for the online exam no later than July 1, 2020. Any applicant receiving accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act that would preclude remote testing will be allowed to test in person at a location to be determined, assuming that federal and state restrictions permit such examination. Any applicant that did not register to use a laptop for the exam must contact the Board if the applicant is unable to take the exam on a computer.

Applicants who complete the test in person will be required to adhere to federal and state health recommendations and requirements. Such requirements will, at a minimum, likely require the applicant to answer health-related screening questions, use personal protective equipment, and comply with staggered test times to ensure social distancing mandates.

For applicants who do not wish to test in July 2020, applications to sit for the July 2020 bar examination will automatically be transferred to the next available 2021 bar exam.

In addition, applicants who wish to transfer their application to the next available exam should notify the Board no later than July 1, 2020, by email at BLE-Info@courts.mi.gov. Transfer fees will not be charged. Applicants who wish to withdraw from the process and notify the Board of that withdrawal no later than July 1, 2020, by email, will have their exam fees refunded by the Board and their character and fitness fees refunded by the State Bar of Michigan.

Applicants have the affirmative obligation to frequently check the Board’s website, where updates, instructions, and other vital information will be provided.