Coronavirus Pushes Back California Bar

California’s bar exam has been postponed.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, California has decided to push its state bar exam from July until Sept. 9 and 10 with the possibility of it being online with remote or electronic proctoring, the ABA Journal reports.

“The state bar shall work with the National Conference of Bar Examiners to facilitate the online administration of the September 2020 Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) or some variation thereof,” an official letter from the Supreme Court reads.


Previously, the State Bar of California’s board of trustees was weighing various options for the July bar exam.

The board proposed either pushing the exam to a later date or canceling the bar exam entirely.

If the exam were to be canceled, the board suggested a provisional certification option, which would essentially allow candidates to work with supervision from a licensed California lawyer.

In its most recent letter, the state bar stated that it will continue to explore provisional certification options.


An official work plan for the bar exam must be submitted to the court by May 11.

The California Supreme Court states that it took into consideration public opinion with letters from law school deans, faculty, graduating students, and repeat test-takers.

“These adjustments recognize and will advance the manifest public interest in maintaining access to justice through competent and qualified legal services,” the letter reads.

Sources: ABA Journal, Supreme Court of California

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