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The Supreme Court continues to follow guidance provided by federal, state, and local health authorities to limit the spread of COVID-19. In response to the coronavirus situation, the court has adopted expanded e-filing rules for litigants. Starting in November, the court will return to in-person oral argument with an option for counsel to appear remotely.

News Release

California Supreme Court Extends Provisional Licensing Program through 2025

By Merrill Balassone December 23, 2022

The California Supreme Court on Friday issued an order extending the State Bar of California’s Provisional Licensure Program through Dec. 31, 2025.

The California Supreme Court first adopted the program to give 2020 law school graduates the opportunity to provisionally practice law because the COVID-19 health pandemic had forced the delay of the California Bar Exam in 2020. Of 912 participants, 645 have become fully licensed lawyers and 17 are on track to become licensed by the end of the year. The program was set to expire at the end of 2022.

The court in 2021 expanded eligibility 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.

Of 673 total participants in this group, 562 have become fully licensed lawyers after completing 300 hours of satisfactory supervised practice under the program. The court also directed the State Bar to reopen applications for this part of the program for over 1,000 people who may have qualifying prior exam scores but did not apply when the program was first offered. That application deadline will close on Dec. 31, 2023.

The court’s extension also allows over 100 participants who are still active in both groups to complete various other program requirements.

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