The DC Bar Turns in the Worst Bar Exam Score Ever

By William Vogeler, Esq. on November 19, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Failing the bar exam is hard enough without people rubbing it in your face.

Not that anyone would deliberately point out your failure, but sometimes people do it in ways without thinking. The bar examiners in the District of Columbia did something like that, but worse.

The DC Committee of Admissions published a list of people who passed the exam on its website. Unfortunately for a couple of dozen individuals, the list was wrong.

Worst Ever

It was probably the worst bar exam score ever. Not for the test-takers; for the examiners.

According to reports, committee staff personally contacted the affected examinees. At least thirteen people lost their lunch that day.

Twelve other people got good news; they actually had passed but were not on the published list. They were also removed from the suicide watch list.

Joking aside, it was a really bad day for all of them. Talk about emotional distress.

Whose Bad?

Mistakes happen, but usually there's some accountability for it in the law. For example, you fail if you make too many mistakes on a bar exam.

The DC committee said its error "affected only" those who sat for the essay portion -- as if that was the "only" effect. It also affected their families, friends and others who care.

As bar candidates should know, it's not exactly a good case for emotional distress. However, it is a good case for changing the way bar examiners publish so-called pass lists.

Directed email may take an extra mouse click or two, but publishing a fault-filled list is wrong. That would be a fail.

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