Bar examiners to allow computer use in July

Many people use earplugs during the bar exam, if only for the peace of mind that a nearby person’s nervous habits/ breakdown could potentially derail the thought process. But those earplugs might soon be an absolute necessity.

Starting with the July bar exam, Michigan will allow some candidates to take the essay portion using laptops. So instead of the tics, it will be the taps. As in taptaptaptaptaptap.

“In a time when attorneys are using tablets, laptops, and smart phones in and out of court, it doesn’t make sense to tell bar applicants that they can only use pens and pencils,” said Michigan Supreme Court Chief of Staff Matthew Schneider said in a press release.

According to Schneider, the computers will have software that will block access to certain files, programs, and the Internet during the exam.

Only those who have already applied for the July 2012 exam are eligible. Interested candidates must submit the proper forms to the Board of Law Examiners by mail or hand delivery by 4:30 p.m. May 31. (Somewhat ironic that, in order to use new technology to take the bar exam, you must submit your request through old technology only, as email forms won’t be accepted.) The forms can be found here.


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