The Tennessee Supreme Court issued an order today approving remote administration of the February 2021 Uniform Bar Examination in Tennessee, citing the continuing risk associated with large gatherings due to the pandemic and the increase in COVID-19 cases in Tennessee. A “remote examination” means that the examination will be administered in the applicant’s home or location of choice. Applications for the February 2021 examination will open on Monday, October 26, 2020.
Although stringent public health and safety protocols were planned for an in-person administration of the February 2021 examination, the Court could not “justify the risk of assembling large groups of people in limited space for up to nine hours per day over a period of two day, even if all precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are implemented” and instead, adopted use of the remotely administered Uniform Bar Examination for the February 2021 examination.
The National Conference of Bar Examiners recently announced that jurisdictions may choose to administer the February 2021 Uniform Bar Examination either in person or as a remote examination. Both the in-person and remote examination will be administered on February 23 and 24, 2021, and will consist of two Multistate Performance Tests, six Multistate Essay Questions, and 200 Multistate Bar Examination questions. Scores earned on the examination are portable Uniform Bar Examination scores.
In entering its order, the Court recognized the hardships that COVID-19 has placed upon applicants to the Tennessee bar, as well as the interests of the applicants, the public, and the administration of justice as they relate to licensing and admission of attorneys.
Tennessee was one of 20 jurisdictions that administered a remote examination to July 2020 applicants, with 683 Tennessee applicants participating in the remote assessment that was administered to over 30,000 applicants on October 5 and 6.
The Court ordered additional modifications to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7, section 11.03, and approved new Board Policies and Procedures related to remote administration of the examination which can be found on the Board’s website. A copy of the order can be found here.