Members of Texas A&M Law's J.D. class of 2020 have their degrees and are studying for the bar exam; but, with the arrival of COVID-19, bar takers are adjusting to a new normal. In addition to a July exam, the Texas Supreme Court ordered a September date to accommodate social distancing requirements. The Court was mindful that any delay in licensure could have consequences for law school grads regarding careers and livelihoods. The order allows unlicensed law school grads to practice under supervision.
The law school’s academic support office, led by Professor John Murphy, is providing advice and programs to make the study process as smooth as possible for exam takers--particularly, by creating an alumni mentoring program. It's his hope that mentors may provide motivation and a framework for studying A call for mentors who have been out of law school less than three years was advertised, and the response was strong according to Murphy. Thirty-one alumni signed up to assist J.D. graduates through the bar preparation process.
The law school building is open and available for studying both individually and in small groups (with social distancing). Of course, exam takers have also been encouraged to create study groups that may meet virtually. BARBRI, a Bar Review Prep Course, and the law school are also providing counseling on how to modify bar prep for the September date as many will have already started their jobs.
At this time, the Uniformed Bar Exam is not yet being administered in Texas, but it is being given in various states at various times. In both of the Texas Bar administrations, rooms will be limited to 10 examinees and proctors will be required to wear masks. The September exam locations have yet to be announced, but there will be an exam site in Arlington in July.
Law school faculty and staff traditionally provide lunches and some on-site motivation for exam takers during the multi-day process and will do so this summer. Despite COVID-19, the support of Texas A&M Law graduates remains strong in word and deed. BTHO of the bar!