NY Bar Exam In Complete Disarray


Taking the bar exam is stressful enough. Registering for the exam shouldn’t be.

After joining the ranks of Uniform Bar Examination jurisdictions, the Board of Law Examiners created the New York Law Exam to test on NY specific law. The NYLE joined the MPRE as a test applicants were required to pass before sitting for the bar exam. To make it easy, all a prospective attorney needs to do is watch a mandatory video by the deadline and then take the NYLE.

The published deadline is today and the mandatory video is… unwatchable because the website is kerfunkered.

Multiple tipsters report that for the last several days they’ve been unable to access the mandatory video series. While there’s no official explanation for the outage, the volume of traffic in the days before the deadline is likely either the cause or a contributing factor. And you can’t blame folks for waiting until the last minute — the series clocks in at around 17 hours and most of the people we’ve heard from have been dutifully slogging through it and only had an hour or two left before technological calamity struck. According to a public chat post, one law school didn’t even alert students about the video until yesterday which would make for a rough dash to the deadline even if the site worked.

Users started getting “connection timed out” messages and being told “thank you for logging out” when they tried to respond to prompts. Some reported changing browsers improved the chances of a watchable video, but others couldn’t get anything to work. Folks on Law School Memes for Edgy T14s were reporting that they’d been told that if applicants are having issues they have to submit a verified petition signed by a notary describing the problem because bar examiners are the last people on the planet carrying a torch for the awesome eldritch power of a Public Notary.

As the quagmire continued, BOLE finally put out the notice:

Due to unexpected technical issues with a server the New York Law Course (NYLC) is currently offline. We are presently working on the server and as soon as updates have been completed the NYLC will be back online. The work will be completed as quickly as possible but at this time we do not have a specific time when the NYLC will be back online. We apologize for the inconvenience.

This was a useful announcement, however BOLE put it on their website, prompting one frustrated commenter looking for the notice to respond, “YOU CAN’T EVEN GET ON THE HOME PAGE!!” Sorry, it’s the mailbox rule.

Of course at the time of this announcement, BOLE still wasn’t extending the deadline. At some point before 8 p.m., the notice above was amended to declare that:

The Board is aware that many applicants have been attempting to complete the NYLC before the February 11th deadline to register for the March 2020 NYLE. This deadline will be extended after the NYLC is back online.

So no word on when yet, which is frustrating but better than extending it before the site actually works.

Good luck to everyone out there. Stay strong.


HeadshotJoe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.





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