Bar Exams, Screw-Ups, Technology

Bar Exam Horror Stories: There Will Be Blood (and Power Outages)

In my day, you didn’t take the bar exam on a fancy computer. Instead, you had to take the exam with paper and pencils. Pencils with a special numerical designation made of graphite that had to be dipped in a sacred flame. And you had to take the exam while walking uphill.

Just kidding. But I probably was part of one of the last classes where most people wrote their essays instead of typing them. Now, most people use their computers, but electronics can be tricky — especially when the power goes out.

Which is exactly what happened to students who took the bar exam at the North Carolina fairgrounds. The power went out (which I think is what you get for taking a bar exam at a fairgrounds), and people who did not have fully charged laptops were fully freaking out:

During the afternoon session of the NC bar exam in Raleigh today there was a storm, followed by a power outage that lasted about an hour. People’s computer batteries died mid-essay and everyone freaked out. They gave everyone extra time to make up for it but it probably threw a lot of people off their game. I was super glad I decided to hand write the exam; I would’ve felt like a real moron if I’d paid the computer fee and then still had to handwrite.

No power also meant no air conditioning. And, again, we’re talking about a state fairgrounds. One tipster who was not there said this:

No A/C + no power + a few thousand freaking out students in what is essentially a livestock holding facility in July would be brutal.

Those seem to be difficult situations, but test takers should be able to overcome them. You’re not always going to be working in perfect, livestock-free conditions when you are practicing law in North Carolina. Being able to think clearly during times of adversity is something that young lawyers should be able to do.

What will bar exam day two bring? Keep us posted at And be prepared for anything. Nobody is going to care about what happened during the bar exam in November when your results come out.

Earlier: Pregnant Woman Takes Bar Exam While in Labor, Delivers Baby Right After!

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