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Is The Maine Bar Exam In Jeopardy? Mass Cancels Its In-Person Exam In The Fall

The in-person fall bar exam for Massachusetts has been cancelled altogether, putting into question whether Maine will eventually follow suit.

The exam is normally held in July, but its date change to the fall was announced via an order by Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court in April, upon a recommendation by state’s Board of Bar Examiners, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The two-day Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) had been scheduled to be held on the same day nationally, and was slated for July 28 and 29 at one location in South Portland. The decision to move that date for Maine followed other states that have already said the exam will not go ahead on those dates. Instead it was scheduled to be held in September 30 and October 1. That remains the case. The application deadline is July 17, but all seats are now taken and there is now a waiting list to sit that exam.

To add to the potential uncertainty, Massachusetts has now cancelled the in-person exam altogether. That decision was announced by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today, July 1.

The announcement cited “seating limitations and safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic” as reasons for the decision. Instead, bar takers will sit with UBE materials remotely, and will only be admitted to practice in Massachusetts if they pass. Results will be out mid-December.

The Maine Board of Bar Examiners has been asked to comment on whether the in-person exam for the state is also in jeopardy and any response will be updated here.


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