October Exam Postponed
October 7, 2020
The Committee on Bar Admissions has been closely monitoring Hurricane Delta. Weather advisories indicate South Louisiana will begin experiencing hurricane winds and rain sometime beginning Friday, October 9, 2020. The incoming hurricane will likely cause widespread power outages and interruption in internet access. Therefore, the Louisiana Supreme Court and the Committee on Bar Admissions has made the determination to postpone the Saturday, October 10, 2020 bar examination by ten days. The October examination will be held on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. The examination will proceed in the same manner as was planned for October 10, 2020.
Read the Supreme Court Order.
Read the Supreme Court Press Release
Announcement: Admission of Qualified Candidates
October 2, 2020
By order dated July 22, 2020, the Louisiana Supreme Court set forth criteria for the Emergency Admission of Qualified Candidates.
The Committee on Bar Admissions reports:
Louisiana Supreme Court Announcement Regarding 2020 Bar Examination
July 22, 2020
Today the Louisiana Supreme Court issued an Order permitting certain “Qualified Candidates” for admission to the Louisiana State Bar to be admitted to practice without the requirement of sitting for and passing the bar examination in 2020, provided all other usual requirements for admission are met. In addition, Qualified Candidates must complete 25 hours of continuing legal education and the Louisiana State Bar Association’s “Transition Into Practice” mentoring program by December 31, 2021.
Dissenting from the Court’s Order were Justice Jefferson D. Hughes III, Justice James T. Genovese, and Justice William J. Crain.
The additional educational and mentoring requirements enacted in today’s Order for those Qualified Candidates who elect the emergency admissions option will serve as guardrails to ensure the competency and integrity of the newly-admitted attorneys during their first year of practice.
Registered applicants who do not meet the definition of “Qualified Candidate” will still have two opportunities to take the bar examination in a one-day, remote format in 2020: August 24, 2020 and October 10, 2020.
Concern and discussions about administration of this summer’s bar exam began when the pandemic first hit in March. The Court solicited input from the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions and the deans of the four Louisiana law schools, and explored numerous options of how to administer the bar safely, keeping the health and safety of the bar applicants at the forefront. Following extensive study and collaboration with the Committee and the deans, and considering the infection rate at the time, on May 8, 2020, the Court announced a plan to administer a modified one-day in-person examination in four cities to achieve the proper social distancing protocols required during this public health crisis. The Court continued to study this ever-evolving issue and on June 3, 2020, announced an additional option for applicants to take the bar examination remotely.
Faced with a rapidly rising coronavirus infection rate, especially among young adults, and an ongoing concern for public health and the safety of the registered bar exam applicants, on July 15, 2020, the Court announced the cancellation of the July 27, 2020 examination. With an in-person administration deemed too uncertain for the near future, the Court considered but rejected issuing a mandate that the bar examination be taken remotely for first-time test takers. While the Court did agree to allow the voluntary selection of a remote examination option by an applicant, the majority of the Justices were not willing to mandate that the examination be taken in settings which might encounter insurmountable challenges wholly-unrelated to the competence to practice law.
This is not the first time that the Louisiana Supreme Court has waived the requirement of a written bar examination due to emergency circumstances. In June, 1953, the Louisiana Supreme Court waived the requirement for the written examination for certain candidates during the existence of the Korean Conflict.
Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson commented, “This COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented, and it calls for unprecedented and bold action, including implementation of today’s Order granting one-time emergency admission to the Bar with additional requirements. This pandemic, not experienced globally since the 1918 Spanish Flu, has caused absolute disruption not only to the legal profession but to every aspect of society, with serious illness prevalent, schools shuttered nationally since March, unemployment at record high rates, and rising infection rates. We are bombarded with new information daily as we attempt to navigate these uncharted waters.
“Despite these uncertain times, as Justices, we continue to have a responsibility to ensure the competency and integrity of the legal profession. In my opinion, today’s limited one-time Order, including the additional requirements for bar admission, fulfills this responsibility. While we know that cancellation of the in-person July 2020 bar examination was concerning to the many law school graduates who have spent countless hours in preparation, we believe that our action today is not only warranted, but necessary during this public health crisis. On behalf of the Court, I extend our thanks to the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions, the deans of the four Louisiana law schools and the Louisiana State Bar Association for their respective roles and contributions in bringing this solution to fruition.”
Download Announcement (PDF)
Download Order (PDF)
Job Posting: Attorney for Character and Fitness
July 16, 2020
The Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions seeks a Louisiana licensed attorney with 5 years litigation experience to oversee the character and fitness investigation of all applicants applying for admission to the bar of this State, prepare and present materials to the Character and Fitness Panel; litigate matters assigned for hearing before a commissioner; orally argue matters before the Louisiana Supreme Court, and other legal duties as needed. Applicants must possess excellent organizational, interpersonal, oral and written communication skills. Trial experience a plus. Must be computer proficient. Some travel may be required.
Duties include: investigating and litigating character and fitness matters; preparing, presenting and facilitating Character and Fitness Panel discussions; taking sworn statements; drafting pleadings; preparing legal memoranda and briefs; preparing and trying cases before Commissioner; and preparing and presenting oral arguments to the Louisiana Supreme Court. Excellent benefits and free parking. Salary commensurate with experience.
Please email resume, salary history, and writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org and reference job C&F20 when responding to this ad. Responses from interested candidates must be received by July 31, 2020.
The Louisiana Supreme Court and the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions Announce Online Bar Examination Option
June 3, 2020
The Louisiana Supreme Court (the “Court”) and the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions (the “LASCBA”) jointly announce the addition of an option to take the July, 2020 and October, 2020 bar examination online. All other details regarding the administration of the July, 2020 and October, 2020 examinations remain unchanged.
In addition to the in-person cities announced on May 8, 2020, the bar examination can now also be taken online from any location within the United States, in an effort to provide an additional option for applicants who, due to health or other concerns, prefer to sit for the examination in a remote location.
The application deadline for both the July, 2020 and October, 2020 examinations closed on May 30 and will not be reopened to new applicants at this time. Within the next few days, staff of the LASCBA will be contacting existing applicants to inquire as to whether they wish to change their selection from an in-person location to the remote option.
Because the administration of the remote examination requires the hiring and training of more proctors than the in-person administration, there may be a need to limit the number of remote takers. The previously-announced priority schedule will apply to the selection of the remote option: (1) first-time test-takers, prioritized by the date application and fees were received by LASCBA, and (2) repeat takers, prioritized by the date application and fees were received by LASCBA.
Applicants are expected to check the LASCBA’s website regularly for additional announcements regarding this matter.
Download Announcement (PDF)
Scope Descriptions of the Louisiana Bar Examination for July 2020 and October 2020
June 2, 2020
The July 2020 and October 2020 bar examination will be adjusted in the following manners:
Excluded subjects: The subjects of Business Entities and Constitutional Law will not be tested.
Schedule: 50 minutes per exam as follows:
- 08:00 - 08:50 Civil Code I
- 09:00 - 09:50 Civil Code II
- 09:50 - 10:15 BREAK
- 10:15 - 11:05 Civil Code III
- 11:15 - 12:05 Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure
- 12:05 - 01:15 LUNCH
- 01:15 - 02:05 Torts
- 02:15 - 03:05 Criminal Law, Procedure and Evidence
- 03:05 - 03:30 BREAK
- 03:30 - 04:20 Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure
The schedule will be adjusted for those applicants granted accommodations for additional time.
Scoring: Each exam will be weighted equally and will have a maximum score of 100 points, for a total possible maximum score of 700 points. A passing score will be 500 points.
Format of each exam: The seven exams will be in essay format (similar to the essay format for prior exams). The content for the examination administered in July will be comparable, but not identical, to the content for the one in October.
Subject matter scope: The scope of the seven subjects to be tested will be narrowed as follows from what is indicated on the Committee on Bar Admissions website:
- Code I: Persons and family law, limited to marriage, divorce, separation, child support, alimony, regimes, and community property; and property law, limited to classification of things, ownership and accession, personal servitudes of usufruct and right of use, predial servitudes, co ownership, possession, and acquisitive prescription.
- Topics Excluded: Domicile, absent persons, filiation, tutorship, interdictions, habitation, occupancy, boundary actions, and building restrictions.
- Code II: Intestate distribution, including representation of deceased persons, devolution of community and separate property, usufruct, acceptance and renunciation, forced heirship, reduction, and the disposable portion (including calculation of the mass of succession). Testate distribution, forms of testaments, revocation, interpretation of legacies, witnesses, testamentary accretion, and conjoint legacies. Requirements and effects of donations inter vivos, including form, capacity, and acceptance. Prohibited donations inter vivos and mortis causa and the effects thereof.
- Topics Excluded: Incapacity, unworthiness, collation, adoption, and trusts.
- Code III: Obligations, including conventional obligations or contracts; sale; lease; mortgages; liberative prescription.
- Topics Excluded: Deposit, compromise, and security devices other than mortgages.
- Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure: Any part of the Code of Civil Procedure governing general matters of procedure, but excluding procedural rules limited to special types of actions.
- Topics Excluded: Procedures related to special actions.
- Torts: All Civil Code Articles relating to negligent, intentional, and strict liability tort actions, including specifically Articles 2315 through and including 2324.1 and Articles 659 through and including 671 of the Louisiana Civil Code. The applicability or exclusivity of the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Statute. Products liability law and medical malpractice.
- Topics Excluded: Public entity liability, merchant liability, conflicts of laws.
- Criminal Law, Procedure and Evidence: Substantive criminal law and procedure as contained in the United States Constitution, the Louisiana Constitution of 1974, the Louisiana Criminal Code, the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure and in the applicable jurisprudence. Louisiana evidence law (whether for criminal or civil actions) as contained in the Louisiana Evidence Code and in the applicable jurisprudence.
- Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure: Questions regarding the jurisdiction of federal courts, the federal judicial system, and the law governing proceedings in those courts. This includes the exercise of subject-matter and personal jurisdiction in federal courts, removal and remand, venue, the law applied in federal courts, and other relations between federal courts and the states, joinder of parties and claims, pleading requirements, motion practice, and, generally, the procedural rules applicable in the district courts under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Title 28 of the United States Code.
- Topics Excluded: Service of process, discovery, abstention doctrines, injunctions, and appeals and appellate procedure.
Download Announcement (PDF)
July 2020 Bar Examination
May 8, 2020
The Louisiana Supreme Court and Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions announce changes to July 2020 Bar Examination.
The Louisiana Supreme Court (the “Court”) and the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions (the “LASCBA”) jointly announce that the 3-day bar examination previously scheduled for July 20, 22 and 24, 2020 has been cancelled.
The LASCBA will now administer a one-day bar examination on two dates: July 27, 2020 and October 10, 2020.
The one-day examination will be administered in the following four (4) cities in Louisiana on each date:
- New Orleans
- Baton Rouge
- Lake Charles
Seating capacity may be limited to ensure compliance with all available public health guidelines in place at the time of the administration of each exam. Applicants will be given a choice as to their preferred date and location on the following priority schedule: (1) first-time test-takers, prioritized by the date application and fees were received by LASCBA, and (2) repeat takers, prioritized by the date application and fees were received by LASCBA.
The scope of the examination will also be reduced in light of the shortened testing time, and will be announced on the LASCBA’s website by Friday, May 15, 2020. This one-day, limited scope examination format will be used only for the July 27, 2020 and October 10, 2020 administrations.
The application deadline for the one-day examinations to be held on July 27, 2020 and October 10, 2020 is May 30, 2020. Applicants are encouraged to submit their application as soon as possible. If seating remains available for the October 10, 2020 administration after the May 30, 2020 deadline, the Court and the LASCBA may announce an additional registration period for the October exam.
The LASCBA recognizes the enormous challenges in which we are all currently operating. The LASCBA is continually monitoring all public health information, government requirements and recommendations, and will implement all required protocols for the safe administration of the exam for all involved, including applicants, administrators and proctors. Applicants will be provided with information regarding required protocols in advance of each examination.
The LASCBA’s plan to proceed with a one-day examination in July and October is based on currently available public health information. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, that information may change and the Court and the LASCBA may consider other options, including cancelling either exam. Applicants are expected to check the LASCBA’s website regularly for additional announcements regarding this matter.
Download Press Release (PDF)
LASCBA Office Closed to Public
The Committee on Bar Admissions office will be closed for public access beginning Wednesday March 18, 2020 until further notice.
Staff will be available to respond to inquiries via email or by phone during normal business hours. Please refer to the website periodically for any updates.
Civil Code III and Business Entities changes
Please note the recent changes to the scope statements concerning Civil Code III and Business Entities, effective for the February 2019 bar examination. Per the October 25, 2018 Louisiana Supreme Court Order, Negotiable Instruments will no longer be tested on the bar examination. Representation and mandate will now be tested in the Business Entities section of the bar examination rather than the Civil Code III section of the bar examination.
See exam scope: HERE
Character and Fitness Screening Procedure for Applicants with Mental Disabilities
There have been changes to the character and fitness screening procedures relative to applicants with mental health disabilities. The Louisiana Supreme Court entered into a voluntary settlement agreement with the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice concerning new policies and procedures for the evaluation and processing of applicants with mental health disabilities.
On February 1, 2014, the Supreme Court amended Rule XVII to ensure complete confidentiality of all bar admissions files. See La. Sup. Ct. Rule XVII, Sec. 1(G). The fact of, and underlying reasons for the Court’s grant of conditional admission, (including any medical or health related information associated with admission), are kept strictly confidential pursuant to the amended rule. The Court has also worked with the NCBE to modify Questions 25-27 which appear on the Character and Fitness application form that law student registrants and bar applicants are asked to complete. To view the settlement agreement, click here.
Below is contact information for the Court’s Agreement Coordinator:
Lauren McHugh Rocha
Deputy Judicial Administrator/General Counsel
Louisiana Supreme Court
Office of the Judicial Administrator
400 Royal Street, Suite 1190
New Orleans, LA 70130
Telephone: (504) 310-2622
Fax: (504) 310-2587