Bar Exams, Screw-Ups, Technology

Laptopgate, and the New York Bar Exam: The Aftermath

laptop pink girl woman Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgWe recently posted about technical difficulties surrounding last week’s administration of the New York bar exam. About ten minutes ago, candidates who sat for the exam received this email:

From: New York Bar Exam Administration
Date: 30 Jul 2007 17:03:09 -0400
Subject: NYS Bar Exam Laptop Program

As you may know, some candidates taking last Tuesday’s bar examination experienced technical problems with the Securexam software during the examination, and some also experienced problems after the examination when attempting to upload their work. The State Board of Law Examiners has been working with Software Secure to resolve the problems.

Our primary focus during these past few days has been collecting exam files from candidates’ computers and confirming that we have all of the essay answers. Software Secure is in the process of sorting through and reviewing the thousands of files that were either uploaded or transferred to them through the utility that was described in an email sent by Software Secure on July 25, 2007.

For those of you who are interested, the rest of the message appears after the jump.

The message continues:

We have been assured by Software Secure that there were several backup processes in place to prevent against the loss of essaythat any candidate has lost an essay answer due to the software malfunction.

As printed essay answers are received by the Board we will contact you by email to confirm our receipt of your essay answers. Due to the large number of candidates who took the examination on laptop, and considering that there are six essay answers per candidate, it will take some time for all of the essays to be reviewed and printed. We ask for your patience as we answers. Indeed, we have been advised by Software Secure that at this time it does not appear sort through and process all of the essay answers.

In the meantime, if you have yet to upload or transfer your exam files to Software Secure we ask that you contact the Board office immediately and provide us with your seat number and contact information so that we may have a representative from Software Secure promptly contact you to recover the necessary files from your laptop.

The Board sincerely regrets any anxiety these problems have caused. After we have recovered the essays and have forwarded them to the graders, the Board will review and consider what further action may be necessary.

We will keep you updated on this process by email and through notices on the Board’s website at, by clicking on the icon for July 2007 Laptop Information.

NY State Board of Law Examiners

So hopefully everything should be fine. Hey, things could be worse. Remember what happened to this poor sap?

(hidden for your protection)

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