California Supreme Court Extends Provisional Licensing Program
The California Supreme Court on Thursday issued an order extending the Provisional Licensure Program through December 31, 2022.
The California Supreme Court first adopted the program to give 2020 law school graduates the opportunity to practice law after the COVID-19 health pandemic forced delay of the Bar Exam.
The court then expanded the program to include those with qualifying prior bar exam scores—between 1390 and 1439 on any California Bar Exam administered from July 2015 to February 2020. In July 2020, the court lowered the passing score from 1440 to 1390 for future examinees, but did not apply the new passing score retroactively.
Two-thirds of both groups of Provisional Licensing Program participants—nearly 1,100 people in total—have since been admitted to the State Bar.
“With two-thirds of participants admitted to the State Bar prior to the program’s June 1 sunset, it is safe to say that for many the [Provisional Licensure Program] has been a success,” the State Bar of California wrote in a letter to the court.
For the remaining 346 active participants who have not yet been admitted to the State Bar, the court’s extension allows additional time for these participants to meet licensure requirements, such as passing the bar exam and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), finishing the moral character determination process, and completing any supervised practice hours.