The Bar News

Supreme Court amends application deadlines for bar exam

The Illinois Supreme Court announced Thursday changes to a rule that will slightly modify the deadlines to apply to take the Illinois bar examination.

The amendments to Supreme Court Rule 706, which governs the filing deadlines and fees to take the bar exam, will take effect July 1, 2016. The fees will not change under the rule amendment.

Under the amended rule, the on-time deadline to apply to take the February bar exam will be extended by approximately two weeks, from September 1 to September 15, and the final late deadline to apply for the February and July exams will be moved up by two weeks, from December 31 to December 15, and May 31 to May 15, respectively.

The deadline changes will bring uniformity to the three deadlines for each bar exam — on-time, first late, and final late — by putting them at about 45 day intervals. To comport with those changes, the final late deadlines for filing applications for reexaminations will also be moved up by approximately two weeks.

Given how slight the modifications are, the deadline changes under the Amended Rule 706 are not expected to inconvenience bar exam applicants as they will continue to have ample time to apply. The new deadlines fall within the norm of bar exam application deadlines in other states.

Moving up the final late deadlines will also assist the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar by providing its staff with additional time to plan for the exams and process applications. The Board of Admissions to the Bar consists of seven members of the bar appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the administration of all aspects of bar admissions in Illinois, including the semiannual administration of the bar exam, the character and fitness process, and the review and approval of applications for admission on motion.

The language of Amended Rule 706 can be found on the Illinois Supreme Court's website at

Posted on May 26, 2016 by Chris Bonjean
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