Blog Ipsa Loquitur

Published on under Nightmare Fuel

The bar exam is a topic that, not surprisingly, has featured heavily in posts on Barely Legally. Also, my Twitter feed. Also, my nightmares.

It’s the biggest baddest test a lawyer has ever had to face. You can easily confirm this by asking any lawyer about it and then being Talked At until you literally die of boredom. This works no matter how many decades ago he or she took it. Fact.

Now, when I sat for that exam in the stone ages, this blog was still called Almost Legally, and the year was 2010. In those primitive days, we hand-wrote exams in our first year of law school, and only earned the option of using computers to write exams in our second year. I never made the transition to computers because there was never an exam I was particularly eager to use as an experiment for the typing of my essays. I had practice hand-writing exams, so I kept hand-writing exams.

But that, Dear Reader, was ancient history. It was back when America only had one black president. Now we’ve had one two-term black president. Completely different world.

Nowadays, the kids use computers for all their exams, from first year up to and including the bar exam. A private company called Examsoft has contracted with the various law schools and state bar associations to sell nearly- and newly-minted JDs software for the typing of said bar exam. It costs $100-$150, and you probably know where I’m going with this.

The system went down. The Daily Dot has a good roundup of all the insanity and the apoplectic tweets that only a person robbed of their humanity for an entire summer can compose:

It appears that Examsoft’s servers had some problem dealing with the crush of bar applicants trying to upload their exams last night. As Inside Higher Ed and Above the Law report, many bar applicants were unable to upload their exams on Tuesday evening or had significant upload difficulties. Were that not bad enough in itself, the bar exam is delivered over multiple days, so even those who were able to upload their exams late into the night had to get up early this morning to take the next part of the exam.

To be honest, this sort of mishap was in the back of my mind as I put off learning to write times essays on my computer every semester. But this system worked for years and years just fine. Every year, I was the paranoid Luddite with ink on his hands, and I’m not about to scream “toldjaso” just because there happens to be a mishap. Someone at Examsoft must have misplaced a decimal point when they rented server bandwidth at Amazon or something.

But seriously, totally vindicated. High fives all around, guys.