Long wait for Florida Bar Exam is over for examinees

Panama City

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– For most aspiring lawyers, passing the bar exam can be stressful with laborious studying and immense pressure, but for recent Florida State University Law Graduate Jared Sutherland, he said his experience was quite the opposite, after having to deal with the added anxiety of his bar exams being canceled, not once, but twice.

“It was a little bit nerve-racking beforehand because we didn’t actually know or not whether we were going to be able to take the exam when the day came around,” Sutherland said.

Sutherland’s first bar exam was canceled in July due to COVID-19, and then once more in August due to claims of system security breaches.

“It was kind of disheartening because I had just gotten done with my bar prep course and everything was fresh in my brain, and I was ready to take the exam right then and there,” Sutherland said.

Sutherland was finally able to take the exam when it was administered on October 13th in an online format. The Bar also changed the format to be just one day as opposed to two, removing the multistate bar examination (MBE) from the exam.

Ted Howell with the law firm Perry & Young said the bar exam being postponed had local impacts.

“There’s a lot of underserved legal markets, even before the storm. We have a real issue with not having enough lawyers to take care of all the legal needs,” Howell said.

Howell added the state attorney and the Public Defender’s Offices are low on lawyers.

Sutherland said he hopes to know if he has passed the bar by Nov. 20th, and he’s recently accepted a position as an associate at Shepard law.

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