Offering proper accommodations for the bar is always a difficult but necessary task for examiners in the best of times. But in the midst of a global pandemic, some states seem to just be giving up.
Multiple people have now flagged messages informing diabetic applicants that the upcoming online exam is already tough enough without them having to trifle with your pesky diabetes. This one from the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners:
“We are reaching out to ask if you feel you will still need to have these diabetic supplies, food, and a drink with you while testing, since the exam is now remote.”
Do people not understand diabetes? Wilford Brimley dies and suddenly everyone forgets about DIABEETUS.
Barring some hitherto undisclosed ExamSoft impact on pancreatic function, the fact that the test is now remote is unlikely, in fact, to have much impact at all on the applicant’s need to stay alive. They’re also asking people to turn off their glucose monitor alarms! What the hell?
I think everyone gets that the AI-driven video proctoring thing was going to flag someone giving themselves a shot in the middle of the exam. It sucks, but there’s not really an alternative given how these tests work. The message from the bar examiners should be, “You’re going to get flagged automatically for glucose monitor alarms, but rest assured we’re aware of your condition and the software’s flagging of your test will be reviewed and you won’t face any negative repercussions based on your medical needs.” See how easy and reassuring that was?
Meanwhile in New York, bar examiners have lined up a brutal choice for applicants:
Come in person or tough luck is how that reads. Adding more breaks is better than telling applicants that they should try not being diabetic for a day but it’s not necessarily realistic. And the later caveats in the message make it all but a non-starter.
This is fundamentally broken. If you ascribe to the worldview that the profession cannot survive the risk that an applicant has a bottle of insulin with them that MIGHT have the rule against perpetuities scrawled onto the label, then your priorities are dangerously out of whack.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.