/ August 10, 2008

Earthquake Creates Bar Exam Controversy

While the damage caused by this month’s 5.4 magnitude earthquake in California was relatively minimal, there are some who may still be reeling in its aftermath. As reported by the National Law Journal, the California State Bar Exam was administered the morning of the quake, and test-takers throughout the quake zone were in the last minutes of the essay section when it hit. Steve Mitchell, a test-taker in a site near the earthquake’s epicenter, reported that in those final minutes, the testing room began to shake and tiles fell from the ceiling, hitting several people and forcing others underneath their desks. During a recess, Mitchell heard from his peers that test-takers in other rooms had been promised an extra five minutes to make up for the lost time. However, they reported that they were never given the extra time, and Mitchell says his room did not receive any either.

While Mitchell and the other witness interviewed by the Law Journal had successfully finished despite the time crunch, all agreed that it was only fair to those who may have needed the extra minutes to account for the disruption. Gayle Murphy at the State Bar of California acknowledged that the bar had not yet received any official complaints, but stated that the earthquake will be taken into consideration as the exams are being graded.

Source: The National Law Journal

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