So far the online bar exam experience has amounted to a total disaster. Indiana, Nevada, and Florida — using ILG — never got off the ground. Michigan — using ExamSoft — was “hacked” before limping across the finish line. With the head of the NCBE saying she would be “very surprised” if the October administration of the test by the same provider in multiple massive jurisdictions happened to fail the same way, we’ve got to ask… what’s the basis for this optimism?
Is there a plan to run a test anytime soon? Assuming the product used in Michigan was sound and the troubles were truly the result of a “sophisticated cyberattack,” could we get a full stress test across all jurisdictions now? Because it seems as though this would be a good time for states to start realizing if this is going to be a problem before we get into the last week of September and have to delay the exam again. There are some September tests as well — like the NYLE — we could at least get trial runs going for that to get some limited intelligence on the system.
But as yet there don’t seem to be any test runs scheduled, which in light of the experience of the last few weeks seems… ill-advised. Every one of these jurisdictions pushed their trials to the last minute and every one of them had something major go wrong. If everyone involved in bar examination is so confident that they’d be “very surprised” if anything fails, just run an initial trial next week.
Because to put this in the style that the NCBE is familiar with, this can go one of four ways:
Be sure to choose the most correct answer!
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.