Tuesday, July 30, 2019
The State Bar of California issued the following statement yesterday, attributable to Chief of Programs Donna Hershkowitz, relating to inadvertent disclosures concerning the two-day bar examination that begins today.
“On Saturday, July 27, we became aware that the State Bar inadvertently prematurely provided deans of several California law schools a list of the general subject matter topics contained in the July 2019 California Bar Examination essay questions and performance test. This was in a routine invitation to observe a grading session—the invitation typically goes out after the completion of the exam. The release occurred on Thursday, July 25; the exam takes place July 30 and 31. We have no evidence the information was shared with students. However, out of an abundance of caution and fairness, and in an attempt to level the playing field should any applicants have had access to the information contained in the memo, on Saturday evening, we emailed the same information, verbatim, to all those preparing to take the examination. We apologize for the error. We will post answers to frequent questions from applicants in the Admissions section of the website as soon as possible.”
The California Supreme Court issued this statement:
“Over the weekend, State Bar officials advised the court of the inappropriate disclosure, to certain law school deans, of the general subjects to be tested on the essay and performance test portions of the July 2019 California Bar Examination, and of the State Bar’s subsequent decision to provide this same information to all test takers. The court understands and shares the concerns that this disclosure has generated. Exercising its oversight responsibilities over matters relating to bar admissions, the court will ensure that there is a thorough and independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the disclosure, and that appropriate steps are taken to protect the integrity of the bar examination and identify and address any consequences.”
The State Bar said in a posting on Facebook yesterday afternoon:
“While we hope July CA Bar Exam takers do not decide to withdraw at this late stage, we will honor such requests & furnish 100% refunds for requests received 7/27-7/30, 8:30 a.m. Applicants wishing to withdraw email email@example.com.”
An email was sent to all bar applicants on Saturday night advising:
“It has come to our attention that the State Bar inadvertently provided a number of deans of law schools in California a list of the subject matter topics contained in the July 2019 Bar Examination essay questions and performance test. Out of an abundance of caution and fairness, we are sending the same information, verbatim, to all those preparing to take the examination. The memo provided:
“The subject areas and tasks for the July 2019 California Bar Examination are listed below....
“Question 1: Civil Procedure
“Question 2: Remedies/Constitutional Law
“Question 3: Criminal Law and Procedure
“Question 4: Professional Responsibility
“Question 5: Contracts
“[Performance Test]: Objective Memo—Evidence”
Deans of only 16 schools received the email Thursday because deans are asked to view the grading process on an alternating basis, the State Bar explained. The deans were from the following law schools:
Abraham Lincoln University School of Law, Cal Northern School of Law, Glendale University College of Law, Humphreys University Law School, Lincoln Law of San Jose, Northwestern California University School of Law, Oak Brook College of Law, Peoples College of Law, San Francisco International University College of Law, San Francisco Law School—Alliant University, Taft Law School, Trinity Law School, UC Hastings College of the Law, University of La Verne College of Law, University of West Los Angeles School of Law, Western State College of Law.
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