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Supreme Court revises rule regarding admission to Mississippi Bar

December 14, 2022

The Mississippi Supreme Court recently revised the Rules Governing Admission to the Mississippi Bar to allow applicants to take the Bar Exam four times.

Under the previous rule, enacted in 2019, applicants after three failed attempts to pass the Bar Exam were required to successfully complete 12 course hours at an accredited law school before taking the Bar Exam additional times.

The new rule amendment, adopted by the Supreme Court on Nov. 10, sets a cap of four attempts to pass the Bar Exam and eliminates the provision for remedial classes. Rule IV, Section 8, says, “Re-Examination in Excess of Four Prohibited. An applicant who has unsuccessfully taken the Mississippi Bar Exam at least four (4) times shall not be eligible for re-examination.”

The Mississippi Board of Bar Admissions requested the change in a petition, citing recent lower bar passage rates both in Mississippi and nationwide, in addition to the fact that large numbers of repeat exam takers “adversely and significantly affected pass rates in Mississippi” as reasons for requesting the Rule change.

The state’s two law schools, the University of Mississippi School of Law and Mississippi College School of Law, supported the rule change. A letter from the deans of the two law schools was attached to the petition.

A link to the Petition to Amend filed by the Board of Bar Admissions may be found at https://courts.ms.gov/appellatecourts/docket/sendPDF.php?f=400_585648.pdf&c=17875&a=N&s=2.

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