Does the union exam need more than a face-lift?

514 points

When I was a reporter for an AM radio station in the early 1970s, there was a story that needed some commentary “Man on the street” (remember this was in the early 1970s, women were still often seen but not heard), the street reporter was heading to a place that might There is a variety of different people to talk to. This was in the pre-Starbucks days. Reporters would ask citizens for their thoughts on a particular topic, usually in headlines, to get an idea of ​​how they felt. The results may be surprising.

Talk about surprise. The National Bar Examinations Committee conducted a survey to find out how people Felt about the bar exam personally. Why the NCBX thought non-lawyers would have opinions on this and why these opinions matter is a mystery.

Any feeling whatsoever that NCBX is trying to justify its existence?

Like any other lawyer, I love being right, but sometimes, I just don’t want to. This is the case with the online bar exam that was taken earlier this week. I had hoped everything would go smoothly but I had no luck. I hate to be right in this situation.

There were the shots, the fopars, and there were the selections made by the examiners who ended up dropping out the exam. After all the anxiety of the past months, the decision to withdraw from the exam is frustrating and disheartening, not to mention the economic consequences. Two words: suck.

For examiners who pinned their hopes on successful, albeit late, passage, withdrawal should be a painful decision. Apparently, the examinees withdrew to The same reasons What Joe Patrice and I expected all along: trouble opening the stage, cumbersome and unavailable technical support, a complete failure to craft any contingency plan, and racist oversight. Shockingly, but perhaps not so, some of the examiners withdrew at the suggestion of the lawyers’ investigators.

Here’s what really bothers me: The arrogant attitude that seems to permeate the world of examiners. A total lack of empathy, lack of any back-up plan, and a lack of anything that seems to really understand the online bar exam in an epidemic world. I strongly doubt that the pub personal exam will be held in February or even next summer due to the problems of limiting prevalence and the uncertainty about the vaccine schedule. What will examinees do differently next time?

As Joe pointed out, blatant racial discrimination based on failure to distinguish color is appalling. There can and should not be an excuse for not being able to discern differences in color. For a profession lacking colored lawyers not to jump up and down and yell that this is unacceptable is unacceptable. How can we even say that the profession works on diversity and inclusion when examinees cannot even see color on camera? Is this “Do what we say, not what we do?” What is wrong with us?

How about those for the essay questions? What if the online bar test was not able to distinguish colored examinees and as a result, they were unable to take the test? What if the online bar exam has technical support issues and the examinees do not have access to technical support for an extended period, if any? What if the personal testing exposed the examinees to COVID-19 or some other infectious virus that we don’t know about yet? Discuss all potential liability theories.

Why should examinees “try again” when this disaster was not of their own making? Anything unfair about getting them to go to rehearsals? What guarantees can ExamSoft and the attorney exams make them not repeat themselves? They might be able to fix it, but what about other snaps that might show up?

Is there anyone interested in the plight of the examiners, especially those who withdrew without fault?

Anyone plotting any relationship between fraternal bitches and a union exam? A strip exam is a form of adverse. The bar exam can certainly Be dangerous Health. Failure to pass resulted in death By suicide. If you need help during this difficult time, please look out for it. do not wait. you are not alone.

As Joe’s post points out – and this isn’t the first time he’s making this argument – there has to be a serious reassessment of the purpose of the bar exam and whether it really tests the skills lawyers need. I don’t think any attorney will give a quick opinion without research, however, in a very real sense this is what the exam asks for. I also don’t think that the bar exam tests the necessary “soft skills” that lawyers would need if they were Will be successful Practitioners.

What kind of lawyers do we want among us? Do we want someone who can break the rule against eternity or someone who can advise clients in the most effective and efficient way? Ironically, the bar exam can be a barrier to those who can contribute to the profession.

Living as I do in LA-LA land, also known as a plastic surgery center, union examiners will probably need to take a long look at themselves and see if a facelift test is enough, or if an overhaul is needed. I think it’s the last.

Jill Switzer has been an active member of the California State Bar for more than 40 years. Remember to practice law at a gentler and gentle time. She had a diverse legal career, including her duties as deputy attorney general, one-on-one practice, and several indoor senior parties. She now mediates full time, giving her the opportunity to see dinosaurs, millennials, and those who interact – not always civilized. You can reach them via email at

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514 points


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