College of Law > About > News > 2020BarExam
July 20, 2020 /
Dear DePaul Law Community,
I wanted to update you on the efforts the deans of the Illinois law schools, including DePaul Law, have made to support our graduates during this crucial time as they prepare for the bar exam. We all want our students to be practicing lawyers as soon as possible and as safely as possible. We have needed to respond to the changing environment on a daily basis: including state and local policies, bar examiners' decisions, and risks of infection locally and nationally. We know our graduates also need peace of mind on how the bar exam will be moving forward. Our efforts have included:
- Initially, when we knew that an in-person exam would need to be administered in a variety of venues, we offered space and logistical support to help our grads take the exam conveniently (especially in Chicago).
- Over the last few months, we worked with the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois State Bar Associations (ISBA) to approve 711(g), which would allow graduates to work with a temporary license and be paid as they waited for permanent licensure.
- Most recently, when a petition for a diploma privilege was pending before the Illinois Supreme Court, - we supported a diploma privilege (with a period of supervised practice), - we supported a remote exam as an alternative to the in-person exam, and - we supported reducing the bar cut score to reflect the unique hardships of this cohort.
- Once the Court denied the diploma privilege late last week, the law deans knew further action was needed. In the last few days, we authored a letter to the Illinois Board of Bar Admissions (IBAB) and the Illinois Supreme Court, requesting that the Illinois Supreme Court cancel the September 9-10 in-person exam and approve an October 5-6 remote exam. We decided to take this action in response to the current information about the COVID-19 virus and the remaining options available for administering the exam, in the world of a pandemic that limits our choices at every turn.
DePaul Law –– its faculty, staff and alumni –– will continue to support its graduates in achieving their dream of becoming a lawyer.
All my best,Dean Jenn