On November 4, 2022, the Colorado Supreme Court reduced the minimum passing score required for admission to practice law in Colorado from 276 to 270, effective with the February 2023 exam administration. Applicants transferring a UBE score earned prior to the February 2023 exam administration must have earned a minimum score of 276.
On December 14, 2022, Governor Larry Hogan issued a proclamation announcing the majority of votes from the 2022 general election were in favor of the constitutional amendment to change the names of Maryland’s two appellate courts. The Court of Appeals of Maryland is now the Supreme Court of Maryland, its judges are renamed justices, and the Court of Special Appeals is now the Appellate Court of Maryland.
The Mississippi Supreme Court revised Rule IV, Section 8 of the Rules Governing Admission to the Mississippi Bar such that applicants can take the bar exam a maximum of four times, without remediation requirements. Previously, an applicant who had unsuccessfully taken the exam three times was required to successfully complete at least 12 additional semester hours of law school courses at an ABA-accredited law school relevant to subjects covered by or skills necessary to the passage of the Mississippi Bar Examination. Such completion allowed the applicant to retake the exam on one additional occasion; to be eligible for further re-examination, such completion was required after each unsuccessful examination attempt.
North Carolina eliminated its jurisdiction-specific component (North Carolina State-Specific Component), effective November 2, 2022, per amendments to Rules .0501 and .0504 of the Rules Governing Admission to the Practice of Law in North Carolina. The amended rules apply to general applications, supplemental applications, and UBE Transfer applications.
Beginning with the February 2023 North Carolina Bar Examination, applicants will not be permitted to handwrite the Multistate Essay Examination and Multistate Performance Test components of the North Carolina Bar Examination. Unless granted a testing accommodation due to a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, applicants must take these portions of the examination on personal laptop computers using software designated by the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners.
Effective January 17, 2023, the Rules Governing the Bar of Ohio were amended to remove the reference to mental health, and the character and fitness questionnaires/applications will also have such references removed. A new question related to conduct will be added. Finally, the factors contained in the rules that outline what an admission committee shall not consider in determining character and fitness were also amended to now include gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and marital status.
Effective November 1, 2022, the Florida Board of Bar Examiners appointed new attorney members Brandice Davidson Dickson and Laura E. Pincus, and new public member John W. Evans. These new members replace retiring members Larry S. Hersch, Jennifer Martinez Mooney, and David C. Lyles, respectively. Their terms run through October 31, 2027. Dickson is an attorney with the Pennington PA law firm and received her JD from the Florida State University College of Law. Pincus works for the School District of Palm Beach County as an education attorney and earned her JD at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law.
The Board’s new chair and vice chair are Rachelle Munson and Mindy McNichols, respectively, effective November 1, 2022.
Carrie Homann is acting as interim Director of Administration for the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar, following the departure of Nancy Vincent in November 2022.
Amanda Kohlman took over the position of Administrator of the Kansas Board of Law Examiners on December 5, 2022, replacing Barry Garrison.
Diana Velez is the new Attorney for Character and Fitness, replacing Christine Dabney. Velez is a graduate of Louisiana State University and of Tulane Law School. Velez’s previous employment includes serving as Assistant Special Counsel for the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana and as career counselor for the Tulane Law School. She has also been an active member of the Louisiana State Bar Association and was selected as a Leader in the Law by New Orleans City Business.
Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack retired from the bench in late 2022. Chief Justice McCormack became the 108th justice—and the 9th woman—to join the Court when she was sworn in as an Associate Justice on January 1, 2013, and has served as Chief Justice since January 2019—only the 6th woman to do so.
New Chief Justice Elizabeth T. Clement was chosen unanimously in November 2022 by her colleagues to serve in the position. She joined the Michigan Supreme Court on November 17, 2017.
Sydney Lisy is the new Admissions Director, as of January 1, 2023. She replaces Dean Gould, who retired at the end of the previous year.
Karen June is the new Assistant Secretary/Executive Manager for the New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners, effective December 31, 2022. She replaces Mary Patterson, who retired from the position at the end of 2022 after being in that role since August 2018.
Judge Athena Fox Brooks has been appointed to the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners. She replaces Kimberly Herrick, who retired from the Board after 12 years of service, during which she was a member and chair of several Board committees. Judge Brooks currently serves as a Special Superior Court Judge, a position she has held since July 2018 and from which she will be retiring in December 2022. Brooks also served in the United States Army and Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corps, as well as an Assistant District Attorney, Adjunct Professor, District Court Judge for Judicial District 29B, and as Chief District Court Judge for Judicial District 29B.
Board member Ronald G. Baker Sr. was awarded the John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award on September 28, 2022, by State Bar President Darrin D. Jordan and Bar Councilor C. Everett Thompson. The evaluation criteria can be found at https://www.ncbar.gov/bar-programs/distinguished-service-award/.
Britney Cider is the new Attorney Services Counsel in the Office of Bar Admissions, having started on November 21, 2022. Cider previously worked at Franklin County Children Services and will be Ohio’s primary staff member handling applications for admission without examination, as well as many other duties in the Office of Bar Admissions.
Chief Justice Max Baer passed away unexpectedly on September 30, 2022. Baer served as chief justice upon Thomas Saylor’s retirement the previous year and had been on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court since 2003.
Robert L. Sachs, senior partner at Shrager & Sachs, was appointed to the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners on June 13, 2022, for a three-year term, replacing Patrick Thomassey, who is no longer on the board.
Nikia Gray is the new Executive Director for the National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP). Gray replaces James Leipold, who retired in October 2022 after holding the position for 18 years. Prior to joining NALP, Gray was a Managing Partner in the Washington, DC office of Quarles & Brady, as well as its Director of Legal Recruiting. She is a member of the bars in Arizona, the District of Columbia, and Virginia, and is a member of the Native American Bar Association.
Kandace Kukas (Executive Director for the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners) has replaced Carol Smith (former Bar Admissions Administrator for the West Virginia Board of Law Examiners) on the Character and Fitness Investigations Committee.
Nancy Vincent (former Director of Administration for the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar) is no longer on the Communications and Outreach Committee.