Law school graduates who want to take the Illinois bar exam now have extra time to study.
The Illinois Supreme Court announced Friday it rescheduled the exam from July 28-29 to Sept. 9-10, citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The order relaxes the rules governing the Illinois bar examination to allow the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar “the flexibility to prepare for and administer a bar examination in a manner that maintains the health and well-being of all applicants and others involved.”
The applications submitted and fees paid for the July bar exam will be “automatically” applied to the September test date, according to the website for the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar.
“This decision was made after careful consideration of the health and safety issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said in a news release.
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 706 sets the fees and application deadlines for the state’s July and February bar exams.
Those deadlines have changed with the Illinois Supreme Court’s order in M.R. 30370, In re: Illinois Courts Response to COVID-19 Emergency/ Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar.
The new deadline for registering for the rescheduled exam is June 15.
Applicants who cannot sit for the September test date can make a written request for a refund, according to the board’s website.
The Illinois Supreme Court’s announcement to postpone the bar follows an April 3 statement from the National Conference of Bar Examiners, offering two alternative fall exam dates in 2020 — Sept. 9-10 and Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, in addition to a date in July.
“Each jurisdiction will determine whether to offer the exam in July, in early September, or in late September,” according to the NCBE statement.
The bar exam has been rescheduled from July to Sept. 9-10 in Alaska, California, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont, according to the NCBE.
That same September date will be the exam date in Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina and North Dakota if state officials decide the July exam cannot be held safely.
Bar exam information by state can be located on the NCBE website.