TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida’s Chief Justice has apologized for the state’s bar exam being rescheduled multiple times.
Testing for the exam has been delayed as technology issues have postponed the online exam.
More than 3,000 people waiting to become practicing lawyers in Florida will have to wait a while longer.
What You Need To Know
- The Florida Bar Exam has been postponed for a third time.
- It had been scheduled for Wednesday.
- It was originally moved online, but there were security concerns.
Chief Justice Charles Canady said his office will do a better job of communicating about issues with the test in the future.
“Our court deeply regrets this additional delay in the administration of the bar exam,” Canady said. “From the outset of our consideration of how to move forward with the bar exam in the face of the pandemic, our goal has been to administer as expeditiously as possible a valid and secure examination in a way that protects the health of all examinees.”
The exam is now set for October.
In the meantime, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners is creating a supervised practice program to allow law school graduates to practice under the supervision of a certified attorney until they can take the bar exam.
That program will begin in Mid-September.
Stetson Law School graduate Emily Plakon said she’s been studying for the exam for months.
“Just having to focus on studying for the bar is emotionally draining, mentally draining, physically draining,” she said. “I have been studying eight hours a day, seven days a week, with only one day off which was the 4th of July.”
Plakon said she learned late Sunday night the exam had been postponed when she saw a post about it online.
The decision comes after people complained about security breaches and technical glitches with the online software that was being used for the exam.
The Florida Board of Bar Examiners released a statement that said “administering a secure and reliable bar exam would not be possible at this time”.
Matt Weidner, an attorney in St. Petersburg who signed up to be a proctor for the virtual exam, questioned why there wasn’t a backup plan.
“They’re entering a profession, and I think they are right to expect the profession be prepared for them. And I think they are right to be disappointed that their profession didn’t prepare adequately for them,” he said.
Prospective lawyers say all the delays are costing them time and money.
“Right now what we’re asking for is just an open book exam, so we don’t have to use the software that doesn’t work,” said Julie McHaffie, another Stetson Law School graduate.
McHaffie said she’s had to move home to live with her parents because she can’t get a job until she passes the bar exam.
Plakon said she’s ready to take the exam as soon as possible.
“I had a high GPA and so, statistically speaking, I probably would have passed this exam, and it’s really frustrating that I can’t even take it. I just want to work,” she said.
FBBE is creating a “supervised practice program” to allow law school graduates to practice under the supervision of a certified attorney until they can take the bar exam.
The plan is to offer the exam in October but so specific date has been released yet.