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Florida Cancels Online Bar Exam – Outraged Examinees Ask for Resignations
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The Florida Board of Bar Examiners called off the state’s bar exam scheduled for August 19 in a late-night announcement Sunday, a week after bar examinees reported a number of issues with the testing platform and urged the Board to find an alternative to the online test.

“Despite the board’s best efforts to offer a licensure opportunity in August, it was determined that administering a secure and reliable remote bar examination in August was not technically feasible.”

The agency said the licensing test would be hopefully held in October. In the meantime, the Florida Supreme Court approved a “supervised practice program,” which will allow certain law school graduates to practice law under supervision by an experienced attorney.

  
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In response to the announcement, Florida Bar Examinees started a petition Sunday night, calling for the immediate resignation of Michele Gavagni and David Reeves from their leadership positions on the FBBE, citing their failure to administer a summer 2020 bar exam demonstrates professional incompetence and a lack of fitness to hold such leadership roles. The petition has already amassed more than 1500 signatures in less than 24 hours.

Bar takers also ask the Board to administer a bar exam within the next two weeks or the Florida Supreme Court to implement diploma privileges to all August 2020 Florida bar exam applicants.

Bar examinees argue they wasted their entire summer studying for an exam that Michele Gavagni and David Reeves promised to administer and failed to follow through and eschewed personal and family responsibilities during a global pandemic to focus on preparing for an exam that is not happening.

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“Bar examinees in Florida spent countless hours of their lives, thousands of dollars, and exhausting amounts of mental energy trying to get ready for an exam that Michele Gavagni and David Reeves promised to administer and failed to follow through,” reads the petition. “Bar examinees in Florida do not deserve to be subject to the incompetence of Michele Gavagni and David Reeves any longer. We demand that they resign from their positions on the FBBE and be replaced with individuals with greater respect for their bar applicants and those applicants’ families and lives.”

Florida is among the handful of states that scraped the July in-person exams and moved online as a result of the pandemic. Each of these early online exams has encountered tech issues. Indiana and Nevada pushed back their online exams to a later date after the ILG software failed multiple tests. While Indiana decided to change course and administered its bar exam via email, Nevada is going forward with an earlier version of ILG software that doesn’t involve live proctoring.



According to the Board, the October exam date will be announced in the coming weeks, and bar takers signed up for the August test can either sit in for the October test or postpone the exam until February 2021.



 

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