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Florida bar exam rescheduled for October 13

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The exam will consist of 100 multiple choice questions and three essay questions

Florida Board of Bar Examiners SealThe Florida Board of Bar Examiners on August 26 rescheduled the next Florida bar exam for October 13, with testing potentially continuing October 14 for any candidates who receive test accommodations.

The exam will be administered using an online format provided by ExamSoft, a company with more than 20 years’ experience with delivery of online exams. Use of this platform will require that each applicant sitting for the October 2020 bar examination have access to a computer that has installed the necessary ExamSoft software.

The exam will consist of 100 multiple choice questions and three essay questions.

All multiple-choice questions will be based on Florida law, and will test the following seven subjects:

  • Florida Rules of Civil Procedure;
  • Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure;
  • Torts;
  • Business Entities;
  • Evidence;
  • Wills; and
  • Trusts.

The three essay questions will test Federal Constitutional Law and the following six subjects (all based on Florida law):

  • Torts;
  • Real Property;
  • Florida Constitutional Law;
  • Ethics;
  • Contracts; and
  • UCC Article 3

Other subjects that are normally available for testing under the current Bar Admissions Rules will not be tested in October.

The board will provide more information to applicants in early September about software installation instructions and the mock examinations to familiarize them with the program that will be used for the examination.

A backup testing plan is also being developed, with details to be announced once they are complete.

The Supreme Court has also elected to appoint a “Registrant Advocate” to aid in assuring that registrant’s concerns about administration of this examination are timely addressed. Details about the Registrant Advocate’s role will also be announced once finalized.

On August 17, the Bar Examiners postponed the exam that was scheduled for August 19 when it was “determined that administering a secure and reliable remote bar examination in August was not technically feasible.”

Chief Justice Charles Canady subsequently issued a video apology to bar exam applicants and the public over failures in pandemic procedures for the August 2020 exam and authorized the creation of a Chief Justice Canadysupervised practice program in an August 24 order. The program creates a way for applicants to work despite delays caused by pandemic conditions and online testing failures and will last until 30 days after the results of the February 2021 bar exams are released.

The court order outlines the application procedure and provides that each applicant’s supervising attorney assumes professional responsibility for all services provided.

To be qualified to participate in the program, a 2020 bar applicant must meet the following requirements:

• Has graduated from an ABA-accredited law school.

• Has not taken a bar examination in Florida or in another jurisdiction before February 1, 2020, or is licensed to practice law and is in good standing in a United States jurisdiction other than Florida.

• Has received a letter of clearance as to character and fitness from the Florida Board of Bar Examiners.

• Has obtained a passing score on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination at the time the person submits an application for temporary supervised practice or is licensed to practice law and in good standing in a United States jurisdiction other than Florida.

• If licensed and in good standing in another U.S. jurisdiction, not be the subject of disciplinary proceedings and agrees to submit to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court for disciplinary purposes.

• If not licensed to practice law and in good standing in another U.S. jurisdiction, has been certified by the dean of the applicant’s law school as being of good character and competent legal ability and such certification has not been withdrawn by the dean.

• Has certified in writing that he or she has read and is familiar with the Rules of Professional Conduct and will abide by the provisions thereof.

The application for Temporary Supervised Practice may be accessed here.

The supervising attorney will assume professional responsibility for all services provided by the supervised practice participant, and for the quality of the practice participant’s work, and shall assist in the practice participant’s preparation to the extent the supervising attorney considers it necessary, according to the order. The supervising attorney also must enter an appearance in any matter in which a supervised practice participant enters an appearance and is required to be present “at all critical stages of the proceeding” in any case in which the graduate represents a person who has a right to appointed counsel.

A supervised practice participant also may not ask for or receive any compensation directly from the client and may not negotiate a fee agreement or be a party to a fee agreement.

Applicants should check the Bar Examiners’ website regularly for detail updates and for additional announcements about the upcoming exam.

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