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Board of Law Examiners loses several bar exam essays
7/28/2007
Capital News

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The Board of Law Examiners is apologizing to prospective lawyers, after it says it has lost several essays from those who took the July bar examination.

It stems from a computer glitch right now and they'll contact anyone whose essay was lost.

For the past several years the bar has allowed candidates to use their own computers for that part of the test.

 

Bar exams feared lost
Prospective lawyers kept in limbo because of computer glitch
 
By DAVID FILKINS, Staff writer
July 27, 2007
Albany Times Union

 

ALBANY -- Some of the 5,000 prospective lawyers who took the essay portion of the state bar exam online this week fear their efforts have been lost because of a computer glitch.

Problems began when some test-takers could not view their completed essays. Some had difficulty or could not submit their work to Software Secure, Inc., a Boston-based provider of online examinations.

The bar exam, which lawyers need to pass to obtain their law license, was administered across the state Tuesday and Wednesday. The first day featured multiple choice questions. An essay portion followed the next day.

John McAlary, executive director of the state Board of Law Examiners, said a small number of candidates were affected by the glitches. He was unable to say exactly how many. The board has not received any of the essays from Software Secure, he said.

He said he is confident every essay will be recovered because multiple backups were in place. He said the board has not determined what will occur if essays cannot be recovered.

"Hopefully we don't have to get to that situation and it does not appear that we will," McAlary said.

"We will cross that bridge and take the appropriate measure if and when the time comes. If somebody did lose something the board will meet to discuss alternatives."

Software Secure posted a statement to its Web site Thursday saying the problem was identified and that a tool was created to recover backup files saved during the examination. A company official who refused to identify himself said he was not prepared to comment early today. He would not even confirm the online statement.

"This is something we take very seriously and we are working closely with the software company to make sure we get every essay," McAlary said this morning.

"We feel confident, based on what the company is providing us, but won't be contacting any candidates to give confirmation until we receive copies from the software company and have them printed."