They Mean Business

March 10, 2016

Bar applicants are under a lot of stress on the day of the bar examination.  That may be the understatement of the year.  In addition to trying to retain the enormous amount of information necessary to pass the bar exam, there are the additional worries of simply getting to the exam: Will there be traffic? Do I have the right directions?  Where will I park?  Do I have my admissions ticket with me?  Adding to that stress is the four-page Examination Regulations and Code of Conduct that must be initialed and signed before taking the bar exam.  This document contains a list of everything you can and cannot bring into the exam room, how you must conduct yourself during the exam, and where you can and cannot be at any given time.  The document asks the applicants to affirm that they have read and understand it, but no doubt, many do not read it carefully or simply forget the requirements and prohibitions. They have enough to worry about.

That four-page document can be critical, however, and knowing the rules may be the difference between obtaining your license and not.  Each time the bar exam is given, someone inevitably, albeit unintentionally, violates the rules listed in the document and must explain their conduct to the Board of Law Examiners before their bar examination results are released to them.  Keep in mind that in the vast majority of cases, these are not people trying to cheat.  They may have accidentally brought something into the exam room with them that they didn’t think twice about, such as a wallet, a watch, or eyeglasses case, or maybe they put on a jacket during the break that had pockets and simply forgot it was prohibited.  Applicants need to understand that the requirements listed in the Examination Regulations and Code of Conduct are strictly enforced.  It does not matter if a violation is unintentional.  If an applicant brings anything into the exam room that is forbidden, they risk having their exam results withheld for a period of time or, if there is not a good explanation for their conduct, permanently.  No doubt, it’s a bit harsh.  So if you know someone planning to take the Bar Exam, offer your condolences, and then remind them to carefully review the Examination Regulations and Code of Conduct, because you can bet the individuals proctoring the exam will, and they mean business!

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