After months of uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic and a petition asking the court to waive the bar exam requirement, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has decided the state should move forward with the exam as scheduled on July 28-29, 2020.
Because the exam will be conducted, the petition asking the Court to waive the exam was dismissed as moot.
On April 17, 2020, three out-of-state law school graduates filed an emergency request to modify the Supreme Court Rule due to COVID-19. The petitioners anticipated that the July Wisconsin bar exam might be postponed and asked the court to approve a provision that would allow qualified law school graduates from law schools outside Wisconsin to be fully admitted to practice law in Wisconsin after completing 360 hours of supervised work and after taking certain state law education requirements. Under that procedure, applicants would not take a bar exam.
The Court received responses to the petition from the Board of Bar Examiners, the deans of both Wisconsin law schools and from the State Bar of Wisconsin, all generally expressing some concerns about the petition. The petitioners then filed a reply.
Many states have postponed their July bar exam for later this year and at least one state, Utah, has granted emergency diploma privileges. At least a handful of others are considering similar action.
- Full Order (PDF)