Arizona Law Grad Who Failed Bar Exam Asks to be Admitted Due To Technical Problems He Encountered

A former law student in Arizona who failed the remote online bar exam is asking the State Supreme Court to license him anyway, claiming software flaws kept him from passing the test.

The petition was filed by Jordan Evan Greenman, who claims his computer screen went blank and his mouse and keyboard became disabled during the July exam, contributing to a score that was five points below the passing threshold.

The petition may prompt similar challenges from other students who experienced software problems while taking online exams across the U.S. during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This legal action will be closely watched,” said Aaron Taylor, Executive Director of the AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence. “It’s likely that others are already in the works.”

Frustrated test takers posted on social media with accounts of technical glitches they experienced during the online tests administered because the Covid-19 pandemic made in-person gatherings too dangerous.

ExamSoft, the company that provided software for the tests in 28 states and the District of Columbia, apologized for the glitches in August.

According to Greenman, the software crashed during the first of two Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions. He said he got only 1 out of 6 possible points on that portion of the test, worth 10% of the overall exam score, and that he tallied consistently higher on other sections of the exam.

Greenman is asking the Arizona Supreme Court to review the decision of its Committee on Examinations not to recommend him to be admitted to the bar based on the score.

Greenman’s attorney, Ilan Wurman, a professor with the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, said the situation has been “extraordinarily difficult” on his client.

The Association of Academic Support Educators in July asked state courts and examining boards to make appropriate scoring adjustments for examinees who were affected by these types of issues. And some jurisdictions have already done so, while others are still considering action.

“We laud the states that took actions like Delaware and Colorado, and hope to see California and others follow suit, even if retroactively,” said Marsha Griggs, a professor at Washburn University School of Law in Kansas, in a written statement.

You can read more about this issue here.

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