The Legal Beat
Texas Going Forward With Bar Exam No Matter What Plague Hits Next
Posted on Thursday February 18, 2021
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays bar examiners from their appointed duty to self-justify. As Texas residents huddle together to keep warm after electric and natural gas heating failed and families ration fresh water after all the uninsulated mains burst, the state’s bar examiners surveyed the suffering and concluded that there’s no reason why this should interfere with the upcoming bar exam.
Frankly, I’d have been shocked if the state arrived at any other conclusion.
The exam will be administered remotely next week as planned. Many examinees have no power at the moment, but, you know, it’ll probably be back soon? Maybe? It’s going to be in the 70s next week, so test-taking conditions can’t be too bad, right? In the meantime, as the North Carolina bar counseled candidates over the summer, “It is important that you minimize distractions and focus on the upcoming examination….” So don’t let the fact that you’re eating snow in lieu of access to running water get in the way of your commitment to studying! Oh, the study materials are all on a computer that ran out of power and require access to an internet that’s been down for three days? Well, have you considered deferring until the summer?
Justice Brett Busby took to Twitter to outline the efforts being taken to push ahead with the exam.
The hotel reimbursement is a nice gesture, though as outlined above the real problem is the disruption to studying right now and — hopefully — not any problems with the days of the test. And hotel rooms are likely at a premium right now as people who can afford to relocate seek out temporary lodging while they wait for a plumber to replace their pipes. The only advice we can give right now is that if you’re in Texas and looking for a hotel where you can take the test in peace, we hear there are rooms available in Cancun.
The make-up exam option is a great option, but it won’t offer the reciprocity of the UBE. For most folks that’s not going to be a concern because they plan to practice in Texas exclusively, but there are definitely going to be candidates for whom this is a non-starter, leaving the only option another deferral.
In a sense, this is a microcosm of the whole disaster in Texas. A dogged commitment to an ideal — be it deregulation or the administration of this anachronistic exam — became the source of the state’s struggles. Instead of chasing well-meaning half-measures to ameliorate the impact, perhaps it’s time to take a hard look at why you’re in this boat to begin with.
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.