The COVID-19 Pandemic is now impacting future lawyers. The July Ohio Bar exam has been re-schedule multiple times and now, those scheduled to take the test will do it virtually.
The extra time to study though, isn’t necessarily seen as an advantage and could be adding more stress to recent graduates.
“Things have definitely taken a drastic turn from what we expected.” Ben Winter was the president of his class at Capital Law. He like many saw this update from the Supreme Court of Ohio on its website saying:
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and for vital safety, logistical, and planning considerations concerning the administration of the exam, the in-person September exam is postponed.
In its place there will be a remote and virtual exam in October which is something Winter says, is not as advantageous as it may seem.
“It requires cheating detection software and that software monitors activities if someone enters the room or if you are going to the restroom too often.”
He also says it’s something the students will have to pay for which is an extra cost when times are already tight. It’s something he worries will create an even bigger obstacle for minorities.
“They are already much less likely to pass the bar exam than others but now more research has come out, now with this new format, they are actually more at risk of not passing the bar exam.”
Potential technical glitches are also a concern. “From what I heard in Indiana they had issues with their technology and just got a voicemail when they called tech support.”
One silver lining for Winter is he was able to get a job thanks to a pending practice admission which is essentially a temporary license to practice law without passing the bar.
“I was glad that I was able to find a job especially one that I love so much. Again, I know I’m an anomaly and that is not the case for the majority of my classmates.”
As he waits to take the test he hopes the powers that be reconsider how to move forward with either an open book test or no test at all.