Bench + Bar of Minnesota

Bar exam update: New court committee formed

In the summer of 2021, the Minnesota Board of Law Examiners (BLE) began a two-year comprehensive review of the state’s bar examination process. The study analyzed not just the bar exam, but also alternative models for evaluating competency to practice, including a curriculum-based pathway and a supervised-practice-based pathway.

The BLE filed its report with the Court on June 1, 2023, containing four recommendations:

  • Minnesota should adopt the NextGen exam. 
  • The Board will file a petition to propose modest changes to the supervised practice rules.
  • Create an Implementation Committee to further explore and develop a curriculum-based pathway for assessment.
  • Table the proposal to create a supervised practice-based pathway for assessment, and revisit that proposal following further study and experience with the curriculum-based pathway for assessment.

On March 12 of this year, the Court issued an order (ADM10-8008) adopting all of the BLE’s recommendations with a few minor modifications—and one change: The Court’s newly formed Implementation Committee will continue to explore a supervised-practice-based pathway to licensure, albeit secondarily to its study of a curriculum-based means of licensure. 

The Implementation Committee includes a broad range of stakeholders and the MSBA has nominated three members for the Court’s consideration. The committee’s report and recommendations are due on July 1, 2026 for the curriculum-based assessment path, and July 1, 2027 for the supervised-practice method of evaluation. 

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