Judge Gavel on a wooden background, Law library concept.

Two small legal practices have moved into downtown office buildings.

The Baton Rouge offices of Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore are now located on the 11th floor of the Chase North Tower, attorney Matt Bailey told the Downtown Development District Board Tuesday. Sprinkle Law Firm has moved into One American Place, said attorney Richard Sprinkle.

Louisiana bar exam test-takers won’t have to commit material to memory after the state Supreme Court announced that July tests will be open-book and conducted remotely due to the pandemic.

An order approved Wednesday by the state’s highest court mirrors a similar decision last year that allowed law school graduates and out-of-state attorneys seeking licenses to also take the exam remotely and without proctors.

The threat of the COVID-19, along with the state’s Committee on Bar Admissions recommendations, factored into the decision to hold exams remotely for a second year.

“Faced with ongoing developments of the pandemic, it is important that we keep safety at the forefront while remaining vigilant in fairly administering the bar exam,” Chief Justice John L. Weimer said in a statement Thursday.

Citing information from the National Conference of Bar Examiners, he added that 22 other states have also administered the exam remotely.

The July 2021 remote bar examination won't have live monitoring or proctoring, and applicants will download the software onto their computer. 

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Test-takers can use outside materials during the exam, but they cannot get help from any other people. Violating that rule would result in an automatic fail on the exam and a five-year ban from taking another one.

Applicants also must meet character and fitness requirements and other requirements.

The Supreme Court abruptly canceled the 2020 July bar exam due to the pandemic and agreed to license hundreds of recent law school graduates as attorneys without making them pass the grueling test.

That decision came after people who signed up for the exam in Louisiana and other states complained about glitches and crashes they encountered while using the software for their tests.

The Committee on Bar Admissions will announce at a later date which third-party vendor will administer the July exams.


Email Youssef Rddad at yrddad@theadvocate.com, and follow him on Twitter @youssefrddad