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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, February 1, 2013

Law Grad Denied Ohio Bar Admission for Spending Extra 30-60 Seconds on 6 Essay Questions

In re Application of Parker, Slip Op. No. 2013-Ohio-190:

Jasmine Shawn Parker of Covington, Kentucky, is a 2011 graduate of the Chase College of Law and has applied as a candidate for admission to the Ohio bar. ... At the conclusion of the July 2011 bar exam, one of the applicants approached Lee Ann Ward, director of bar admissions, to report that on several occasions he had observed another applicant, later identified as Parker, continue to write after the instruction to stop writing had been given. The reporting applicant stated that he had observed this behavior on the first day of the exam when time was called for essay Question Nos. 1 and No. 2, and on the final day of the exam for Question Nos. 7 and 8, as well as Question Nos. 11 and 12. He estimated that on the first set of exam questions Parker continued to write for less than 30 seconds, but that on the final day of the exam, she “wrote for enough time to write complete full sentences on both occasions. I would say close to 45–60 secs each time.” ...

The Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness agreed with the Board of Bar Examiners that Parker had violated bar-exam rules by continuing to write after time was called on three sets of questions, on two separate days. ... [W]e adopt the board’s finding that Parker has failed to prove that she currently possesses the requisite character, fitness, and moral qualifications for admission to the practice of law in Ohio in both her conduct during the bar exam and in her response to the ensuing investigation. Consequently, we disapprove Parker’s pending application. In light of Parker’s sincere remorse and her maturation as a result of this experience, we permit Parker to reapply for admission to the bar on or after February 1, 2013.

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Are we supposed to be outraged or something by this? Seems like a reasonable decision. In no uncertain terms they tell you to stop writing. Everybody else stops writing. It's not like she's permanently denied; she just has to take the test again.

Posted by: the real anon | Feb 1, 2013 12:45:55 PM

Agree with Real Anon here

If a person cannot stop writing when they were told to stop are they really qualified to be a lawyer?

Posted by: David R. | Feb 2, 2013 4:46:33 PM