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Library Legal News

California Bar Exam Goes Online in October, Includes Temporary Limited License Program

Posted Jul 31, 2020

This July’s California bar exam was canceled and the California State Bar is directed to administer an online remote exam from October 5-6, 2020. In making the decision, the California Supreme Court considered letters, comments, and action of other states, in combination with consultations with informal state bar workgroups and the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Several recommendations were made in a July 16th report  to the Judicial Council. The Court strongly encouraged law schools to assist graduates who lack internet access at home or who do not have access to an appropriate exam setting. The State Bar was directed to modify the pass score to allow a minimum passing score of 1390, lowered from 1440, for the October exam and future bar exams. The Court also directed the State Bar to implement a temporary supervised provisional licensure program for 2020 graduates of California law school and 2020 graduates of other law schools who are permitted to sit for the bar exam under Business and Professions Code sections 6060-6061. Further information is forthcoming regarding the temporary program. See Above the Law, SacBee.

U.S. Supreme Court Declines Nevada Church’s Challenge to Restrictions on In-Person Services

Posted Jul 31, 2020

On July 24, 2020, in a 5-4 decision in Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak , the U.S. Supreme Court denied an application for injunctive relief by a Nevada church seeking permission to hold in-person services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley had argued that the state’s 50-person limit on in-person gatherings was unconstitutional and violated church members’ First Amendment rights, when businesses such as casinos and restaurants were allowed to operate at 50% maximum capacity. See SCOTUSblog, Washington PostNew York Times.

The ABA’s 2020 Profile of the Legal Profession Highlights “Legal Deserts”

Posted Jul 31, 2020

The 2020 American Bar Association Profile of the Legal Profession surveys the trends and issues within the profession. Topics include: Lawyer pay, legal education, judges, pro bono work, women in the profession, legal technology, and law well-being and lawyer discipline. Two new sections of the survey were added just this year, a statistical look at legal deserts (geographic areas with few lawyers) and a survey measuring how law school debt is affecting young lawyers. The latest statistics show the need for greater representation in legal deserts, which include Arizona, Arkansas, and South Carolina. There are even struggles in states with the most lawyers, California, New York, and Texas. Out of fifty-eight counties, California has seven with less than one lawyer per 1,000 residents. See ABA Journal,