Paul L. Caron

Monday, August 1, 2022

Last Week's Bar Exam: Send In The Clowns

Bloomberg Op-Ed:  Oh, You've Got Tech Woes? Try Taking the Bar, by Stephen Carter (Yale):

Bloomberg OpinionBudding lawyers have run into technical issues with the big test’s software for the third year in a row. Can someone please send in the clowns?

[Last] week, tens of thousands of budding lawyers [sat] for the bar examination. For the second year in a row, the big news is about technology. Last July, Examplify — the software used for remote testing — crashed repeatedly. Just weeks before this year’s exam, test-takers who’d bought new Windows laptops were informed that their devices were incompatible with the test.

They were advised to find another to borrow.

I'm no fan of the bar exam, which I consider both pointless and exclusionary. But if it’s going to exist, those in charge shouldn’t be strewing unnecessary technological obstacles in the path of test-takers. Lately, if unintentionally, that’s exactly what’s happened. ...

Perhaps we shouldn’t place all the blame on the state bars. But we have to face the fact that the tail is now wagging the proverbial dog. Not only do law schools increasingly teach to the test; students must also, we might say, tech to the test. Budding lawyers require not only the correct body of knowledge but the correct laptop. It’s true that most law schools nowadays warn first-year students to purchase laptops that are compatible with Examplify. But that fact just reminds us that the same tail will often wag more than one dog.

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