Online law graduates get pathway to take Indiana bar exam

February 19, 2024
Feb 16 (Reuters) – Graduates of law schools not accredited by the American Bar Association are eligible to take the bar exam in Indiana following a Thursday rule change by the state’s high court, but they will have to go through an individual approval process.
The Indiana Supreme Court amended, opens new tab its attorney admissions rules to enable graduates of non-ABA law schools to request a waiver to sit for the licensing exam, provided they are eligible to take the test in another state. That means graduates of fully online law schools and graduates of California-accredited law schools may petition to take the Indiana bar because California already allows both of those groups of graduates to take its exam.
California is an outlier—nearly every other state limits it bar exam to graduates of ABA-accredited law schools. And the ABA currently does not accredit online law schools, though it is considering a change to that policy.
The rule change takes effect on July 1, with the February 2025 bar being the opportunity non-ABA graduates may petition to take.
The change will help address the shortage of rural lawyers in Indiana, said Martin Pritikin, dean of the fully online Purdue Global Law School, which first requested the Indiana rule change in 2022.

To obtain a waiver, would-be bar examinees must provide, among other things, a narrative statement describing their work in law school and the reasons a waiver is warranted.

Reporting by Karen Sloan