Law Students Spark #Barmageddon, Sue After Bar Exam Malfunctions
Software wouldn't let some students upload exams.
— -- The worst people to make mad? A group of future lawyers.
A Florida software company learned that the hard way when its computer program through which law students submit their bar exams online malfunctioned, seeming to threaten the chances of passing the test.
Although the software company apologized for the snafu and said deadlines in all states had been extended, students say stress over whether their exams uploaded wasn't fair.
“You spend two months preparing for the exam, it’s grueling,” Catherine Booher, one of five students suing the company, ExamSoft Worldwide Inc., told ABC News. “You relearn everything you learn in law school.”
ExamSoft is a program exam-takers must purchase and download if they want to submit their exams online, rather than in writing, she explained.
Booher, who recently graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law, is one of many exam-takers who struggled to upload the essay portion of the bar exam during the test on July 29, according to the lawsuit, filed on August 5 in Washington State.
“The files wouldn’t upload,” she said. “I kept trying and trying and trying, and every time you try, you get an email after you get the yellow screen of death. I had about 13 emails saying the files didn’t upload.”
The problem even triggered two hashtags on social media: #Barmageddon and #Bargazhi.
The North Carolina Board of Law Examiners confirmed to ABC News that everyone who took the exam in North Carolina, like Booher, successfully uploaded their answers, but she and other plaintiffs also want compensation for their stress and anxiety, her attorney Gretchen Freeman Cappio said.
It's not clear how many exam-takers were affected by the malfunction. ExamSoft did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment, but apologized on its website.
“The delay in processing did not relate to, or impact, answer content, and we are therefore very confident in the integrity of your state submissions,” the statement reads. “To accommodate for the delays, we worked with state jurisdictions to extend your upload deadlines as needed and tried our best to communicate those extensions.”
But Booher, 25, says the apology isn’t enough.
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that they’re not issuing refunds,” she told ABC News, noting the software cost her $125.
The company has not responded to the lawsuit.
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