MISSOULA – Law school graduates will not be granted an exemption from the Montana Bar Exam amid the coronavirus pandemic, court officials said.
The Montana Supreme Court denied the petition filed last week asking the court to grant graduates diploma privilege, an option that would exempt them from the final exam and fast track their admittance into the state’s attorney association, State Bar of Montana, the Missoulian reported.
The petition cited public health concerns and inadequate proposed solutions as reasons for the request.
“This Court must consider not only the potential risk to the health of Bar examinees and their contacts, but also the question of whether admitting individuals who meet certain criteria on a diploma privilege would harm the bar as a whole,” the Supreme Court said.
Law school graduates must be admitted into their state’s bar via the bar exam before being allowed to practice law, but the petition would have bypassed the requirement.
The Supreme Court argued that the state would admit more attorneys into the state bar than who would normally qualify and “that outcome would put our public at risk and is unfair to other practitioners.”
No petitioners immediately responded to requests for comment.
The bar exam is scheduled for July 28-29.
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