Remember this fellow? He's the Phillies fan who intentionally puked on a little girl's head at a baseball game.
I'm also convinced he's the National Director in Charge of Distributing Bar Exam Results to Bar Applicants.
Previously, it was Illinois. Then Michigan dumped on its bar applicants. You're all familiar with Maryland (who, to their credit, successfully and efficiently posted their results). Now: New York.
A buddy recounts the joy that was last Friday:
At 2:30, I got a text from [a friend], with "I think you passed ny bar!!!!!!!" I demanded to know how she dared make such a statement, and she directed me to Above The Law which, of course, was totally overloaded. She backs this off a minute: "is your middle name [___]?" Now I know some shit is up.
Here's all you need to know about how these people handle distributing the most important exam results of many people's lives: "some jackass [putting] the actual list online for an hour" is considered a "thing."Apparently, there was that whole "some jackass put the actual list online for an hour" thing. I'm sitting at my computer tearing my fingernails out and shaking uncontrollably. I'm online and I finally see my name in one of the lists posted in the comments section. Of course, now, we're all beginning to question whether the information is legit.
By way of background: The New York bar exam results were not supposed to be released until next week. For some reason - nobody, not even the people with the New York Board of Law Examiners can explain why - another "incomplete," "unofficial" list was posted on Friday afternoon.
Adding to the awfulness, New York - kind as the people there are - lists full names of the people who passed the exam. So everyone knows - and can check - if you passed the exam, which leads to texts like, "Is your middle name [___]?" The extra-awful problem with incomplete, unofficial results: The people who aren't on the list freak out because they think they failed, while the people who are on the list freak out because the results are "unofficial." This is, as usual, the worst possible way anything could possibly happen.
According to Above the Law - a legal blog (who gave me a shout out last month) - here's how this played out Friday afternoon:
One person I know who I believe sat for the bar this July was on the list. My friend passed. Yay. But as I was fashioning the congratulatory email, the list disappeared. As far as anyone can tell, the results are now gone. The links for the individual names sends you to a “page not found” screen.
I called BOLE, but I’m getting a busy signal. I didn’t even know those things existed anymore. So either they are being inundated with calls right now or we are enduring a solar storm which will destroy all communications and send us back into the dark ages.So the people at ATL called the New York Board of Law Examiners for an explanation. Here's what they got:
Okay, I just got off the phone with a spokesperson for the New York Board of Law Examiners. They told me:
* “We didn’t post any results.”
* “We have not distributed any results.”
* “The results must have come from somewhere else.”
When I asked if she had any theories the results were in fact up, on the NY BOLE official website for over a half an hour, she said “no.”
So, that’s their story. I guess we’re supposed to blame it on a malicious, anonymous internet hacker of questionable motives? Your guess is as good as mine. Or BOLE’s, at this point.I have over 100 posts on this blog since August. And not once has a malicious, anonymous internet hacker of questionable motives screwed up one of my posts. Not once have I posted something prematurely. I think I spell a few words wrong in every post, and that's the extent of the screw-uppery on this site. This stuff is not hard.
The third worst thing in the world about all this: The "accidental leak" was taken down at some point, but the list itself was copied and posted on the Above the Law website. Which mean that NY Bar Applicants were trying to figure out if they passed the bar by looking at an incomplete, unofficial list of names that the NY BOLE claimed did not exist and was posted into the comments section of a legal blog. Which led to this, from above friend:
I've been dealing with some uncertainty regarding my diagnosis and treatment for about three weeks now. But that's understandable. I know the reasons for that, I know what all the reports say, I know why there is room for clinical disagreement.Lists are promised on ATL, but they only go to the middle of M. W is conspicuously absent, but it's in the comments. I'm actually also trying to find people I know who took NY to find that they're not on the list (maybe the posted lists are just everybody who took the exam?). In addition to being a wuss, I'm also a dick.
I continue to field questions and "congratulations" for having "passed." And I'm getting more and more paranoid about who to trust. Some folks are trusting ATL, others are blatantly suspicious. I can't even decide whether or not to be suspicious.
But these people have one job: Figure out if Person X has passed or failed the bar exam, and get that information to person X. They do this every year, twice a year. They have complete control over the entire process until the time they choose to release whatever information it is they choose to release.
And multiple times, in multiple states, they have screwed things up magnificently. Either by design or by error, human beings have put other human beings through a similar form of mental anguish to the one I've gone through these past couple weeks. Sure, the consequences are probably less significant, and the anguish doesn't last that long. But still, why do that to people?
To tell you the truth, this shit should terrify everybody. Do you really think these people haven't screwed up the grading? Think these people have never mixed up bar exam numbers? Think they've never made a paperwork error (in the hundreds upon hundreds of pages that go into our bar admissions)?
Case in point: When I was studying for the bar exam, BarBri (bar prep company, and as (if not more) incompetent than the Bar Examiners themselves) had us write practice essays and send them in for grading. In one essay, I repeated the elements of "constructive eviction" verbatim from my lecture notes. The grader's handwritten response on my essay? "Incorrect elements of constructive eviction. Review the law." Well. Thanks guy.
Anyway, what guarantee do any of us have that this doesn't happen on the actual bar exam? Test takers never see their exams. We never know our score, never know how things are graded, never even know if the exam that the Bar Examiners think is "ours" is actually ours.
So after this many screw ups in this many states by several ostensibly unrelated bodies, how can anybody - bar applicants or the general public - trust any of this stuff? Maybe this stuff is unique to this year or these particular states, but there's no question that the entire process is equally horrible and tedious in every jurisdiction. And criticisms of the process and the exam hold up no matter what jurisdiction you're looking at.
One thing is clear: I trust my doctors to figure out an insanely complicated diagnosis and an uncertain course of treatment far more than I trust anybody affiliated with any Board of Law Examiners to correctly post something on the internet.