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Supreme Court announces 2 orders related to administration of Kentucky bar exam

Supreme Court announces 2 orders related to administration of Kentucky bar exam

Bill Stephens

August 18th, 2020


FRANKFORT, Ky., Aug. 17, 2020 — The Supreme Court of Kentucky has entered two orders related to the administration of the Kentucky bar examination.

Administrative Order 2020-60 adopts the Uniform Bar Examination as the official bar examination for Kentucky beginning in February 2021. The UBE is coordinated through the National Council of Bar Examiners and is uniformly administered, graded and scored, resulting in a portable score that can be transferred to other UBE jurisdictions. Kentucky joins 35 other states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in offering the UBE. Five neighboring states have already adopted the exam, including Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.

“The Uniform Bar Examination will benefit law students by creating consistency in the subjects tested and maximizing job opportunities,” said Justice Laurance B. VanMeter, who serves as the Supreme Court liaison to the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions. “The UBE will also make Kentucky’s law schools more attractive to undergraduates who might not be sure which state they will practice in and make new lawyers more marketable to firms with multistate practices.”

The Supreme Court also entered Administrative Order 2020-61, which amends Administrative Order 2020-50 regarding the administration of the remote bar examination on Oct. 5-6, 2020. The amendment sets the passing score for the remote examination at 264 and clarifies that individuals taking the October exam have up to one year to complete the Kentucky Law Component, which tests basic competency on aspects of Kentucky law.

Office of Bar Admissions

Under the Kentucky Constitution, the Supreme Court of Kentucky has authority to govern admission to the bar. The Office of Bar Admissions was created by the Supreme Court of Kentucky to assist in the evaluation of applicants for admission to the practice of law. The office is made up of the Kentucky Board of Bar Examiners and the Character and Fitness Committee.

Supreme Court of Kentucky
The Supreme Court is the state court of last resort and the final interpreter of Kentucky law. Seven justices sit on the Supreme Court and all seven justices rule on appeals that come before the court. The justices are elected from seven appellate districts and serve eight-year terms. A chief justice, chosen for a four-year term by fellow justices, is the administrative head of the state’s court system and is responsible for its operation. The Supreme Court may order a ruling or opinion to be published, which means that the ruling becomes the case law governing all similar cases in the future in Kentucky.  

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