The California Supreme Court has paved the way for a new Provisional Licensure Program for law school students who graduated amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Back in October, the state’s high court adopted Rule 9.49. It allows those who became eligible to sit for the California Bar Exam between December 1, 2019, and December 31, 2020, to practice an area of law under the supervision of a licensed attorney.
According to a California Courts press release, the new rule creating the program has changed the legal community in the state. Many 2020 law school graduates have not been able to prepare, study, or take the California Bar Exam since March, inevitably delaying their employment, incomes, and livelihood. To combat these issues, the Supreme Court announced several efforts back in July to assist students. They included lowering the passing exam score, moving the exam online, and directing the State Bar to create the Provisional Licensure Program.
The program will remain effective through June 21, 2022, unless the court extends it. During this period, graduates who earn provisional licensure will have several opportunities to take the bar exam. However, any who sit for the exam and do not pass it will still be allowed to participate in the program.
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