Laptop for MEE

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cbbinnyc

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Laptop for MEE

Postby cbbinnyc » Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:55 pm

Ok, maybe a stupid question, but ... how does one bring a laptop to the bar exam? We're not allowed to bring sleeves or bags into the test, and the laptop won't fit into the ziplock bag, so are other just carrying their laptops and power cords form their hotels/cars/subway? Are people using the "at your own risk" storage room? I was hoping to avoid the storage room, but I don't really want to walk from my car to Javits Center with a laptop and cord under my arm. Am I overthinking this? Should I just suck it up and use the storage room?

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Dcc617

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Re: Laptop for MEE

Postby Dcc617 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:59 pm

cbbinnyc wrote:Ok, maybe a stupid question, but ... how does one bring a laptop to the bar exam? We're not allowed to bring sleeves or bags into the test, and the laptop won't fit into the ziplock bag, so are other just carrying their laptops and power cords form their hotels/cars/subway? Are people using the "at your own risk" storage room? I was hoping to avoid the storage room, but I don't really want to walk from my car to Javits Center with a laptop and cord under my arm. Am I overthinking this? Should I just suck it up and use the storage room?


Illinois advised we use 2 or 2.5 gallon ziploc bags.

phdjd

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Re: Laptop for MEE

Postby phdjd » Wed Jul 24, 2019 4:45 pm

I used a sturdy, disposable plastic shopping bag that I could throw out if needed. I was able to fold it up and store it in my coat pocket (I took the exam in Feb, so had a winter coat) before entering the testing room, but I was also fine with tossing it in a trash can once I was at the exam site. I imagine that if there is no writing on the bag, then you might be able to fold it up and put it into your ziploc bag during the exam. Just make sure you check the exam site rules before bringing anything to make sure you comply.

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Re: Laptop for MEE

Postby QContinuum » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:20 pm

Dcc617 wrote:
cbbinnyc wrote:Ok, maybe a stupid question, but ... how does one bring a laptop to the bar exam? We're not allowed to bring sleeves or bags into the test, and the laptop won't fit into the ziplock bag, so are other just carrying their laptops and power cords form their hotels/cars/subway? Are people using the "at your own risk" storage room? I was hoping to avoid the storage room, but I don't really want to walk from my car to Javits Center with a laptop and cord under my arm. Am I overthinking this? Should I just suck it up and use the storage room?


Illinois advised we use 2 or 2.5 gallon ziploc bags.

Good for y'all out in IL but NY is very clear about using a gallon-size ziploc bag. I would not attempt to bring in a 2/2.5-gallon bag. IMO options are to use the storage room or travel sans case.

sleeplessindc

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Re: Laptop for MEE

Postby sleeplessindc » Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:40 pm

As a side comment, these rules that prohibit bags/backpacks and cell phones are a huge safety risk, especially for women. In some places, including where I live, you might as well put a "ROB ME" sign on your forehead if you're carrying around a laptop in your hands or in a clear plastic bag. People also need their cell phones to check public transit systems, call for a ride, or call for help if they're attacked.

When I took the bar exam in DC, we were allowed to bring a backpack, which had to be stowed on one side of the room, and a cell phone, which had to be locked away in a security pouch. So it's definitely possible to allow people to bring those things. It's galling to me that bar examiners in some states still insist on banning them nonetheless.

goodkarma56

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Re: Laptop for MEE

Postby goodkarma56 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:30 pm

sleeplessindc wrote:...So it's definitely possible to allow people to bring those things. It's galling to me that bar examiners in some states still insist on banning them nonetheless.


While I totally get where you're coming from and have been personally inconvenienced by such policies, the bar examiners in jurisdictions that have these sorts of bans in place have, in most cases, enacted those policies as a direct response to multiple cheating attempts by dishonest examinees. I've spoken with a bar examiner that I have a relationship with about these matters and believe me when I tell you that there are folks who foolishly throw away their chances at becoming lawyers by cheating during testing sessions, particularly in the big states with lots of examinees. Certain people "crack" under the pressure of the bar exam and resort to pathetic cheating attempts utilizing everything you can imagine (e.g., notes scribbled on various body parts, smuggled-in micro-sized outlines, smart watches/phones, Bluetooth-capable devices, tiny flash drives loaded up with outlines, etc.). It sounds ridiculous, but it does happen.

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westinghouse60

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Re: Laptop for MEE

Postby westinghouse60 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:37 pm

To be honest I feel like if you resort to that kind of cheating, your chances of passing are pretty awful to begin with. How many rules can you really legibly fit onto a body part? How can you read them during the exam?

Sort of like the law school exams that were open outline/open book...if you really had to look back at the book multiple times, you probably won't do that well to begin with.

Not exactly a 1:1 comparison because law school exams are curved while the bar isn't, but same principle IMO

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Re: Laptop for MEE

Postby goodkarma56 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:49 pm

westinghouse60 wrote:To be honest I feel like if you resort to that kind of cheating, your chances of passing are pretty awful to begin with. How many rules can you really legibly fit onto a body part? How can you read them during the exam?

Sort of like the law school exams that were open outline/open book...if you really had to look back at the book multiple times, you probably won't do that well to begin with.

Not exactly a 1:1 comparison because law school exams are curved while the bar isn't, but same principle IMO


I totally agree. Some folks simply cannot handle the pressure of the bar exam and do very stupid things in response to that pressure. Hell, a person might as well ball up their law degree and toss it in the trash if they get caught cheating on the bar exam. Still, every year, a number of desperate people actually do try to cheat and the bar examiners have responded by enacting increasingly stricter policies on permitted materials/devices allowed in the room during testing sessions. Additionally, the bar examiners regularly discuss and train for these matters at the various conferences and symposia that they attend all over the country. It's a pretty significant issue these days with all of the technology folks have at their disposal.

sleeplessindc

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Re: Laptop for MEE

Postby sleeplessindc » Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:41 pm

goodkarma56 wrote:
sleeplessindc wrote:...So it's definitely possible to allow people to bring those things. It's galling to me that bar examiners in some states still insist on banning them nonetheless.


While I totally get where you're coming from and have been personally inconvenienced by such policies, the bar examiners in jurisdictions that have these sorts of bans in place have, in most cases, enacted those policies as a direct response to multiple cheating attempts by dishonest examinees. I've spoken with a bar examiner that I have a relationship with about these matters and believe me when I tell you that there are folks who foolishly throw away their chances at becoming lawyers by cheating during testing sessions, particularly in the big states with lots of examinees. Certain people "crack" under the pressure of the bar exam and resort to pathetic cheating attempts utilizing everything you can imagine (e.g., notes scribbled on various body parts, smuggled-in micro-sized outlines, smart watches/phones, Bluetooth-capable devices, tiny flash drives loaded up with outlines, etc.). It sounds ridiculous, but it does happen.


I agree there definitely are people who'll cheat during the bar exam. In fact, I saw one person get caught cheating during my administration.

How does allowing people to bring backpacks/laptop carriers that they must stow elsewhere on site and cell phones they must put in a lockable pouch increase the kind of cheating you listed?

People with cars could also store all those things in their vehicle while others would be out of luck. Should the bar examiners also forbid people from driving their cars to the exam?

goodkarma56

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Re: Laptop for MEE

Postby goodkarma56 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:54 pm

sleeplessindc wrote:...How does allowing people to bring backpacks/laptop carriers that they must stow elsewhere on site and cell phones they must put in a lockable pouch increase the kind of cheating you listed?

People with cars could also store all those things in their vehicle while others would be out of luck. Should the bar examiners also forbid people from driving their cars to the exam?


The principal exam day concern of the bar examiners is maintaining the integrity of the "secure area" of any examination site (i.e., the exam room), so the contents of any vehicles parked outside of the examination site in an unsecured area are irrelevant. Any kind of baggage brought inside of the exam room itself presents a potential compromise of site integrity because wireless devices are capable of transmitting signals and/or data and these devices can be surreptitiously stored inside and/or retrieved from a purse, backpack, roller bag or even from under a hat. Recall my point above about smart phones, smart watches and Bluetooth-capable devices.

In Texas, examinees are expressly prohibited from having a whole slew of devices/objects inside of the secure area; you cannot even have a wristwatch, a mechanical pencil or a wallet with you inside of the secure area (see https://ble.texas.gov/bar-exam-general-instructions, page 2, "Prohibited Items"). Once again, these sorts of restrictive policies are reactive in nature and they are becoming more commonplace in the big states due to the larger numbers of examinees testing in those jurisdictions, the difficulty of effectively monitoring all of those folks simultaneously and the potential for compromised exam security via technical means.

As I stated previously, it's a hassle to abide by these kinds policies, but I totally understand the rationale of the bar examiners. Unfortunately, these rules are a necessity in today's world.

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Dcc617

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Re: Laptop for MEE

Postby Dcc617 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:32 pm

Bar examiner apologists and collaborators are not welcome here.

goodkarma56

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Re: Laptop for MEE

Postby goodkarma56 » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:28 am

Dcc617 wrote:Bar examiner apologists and collaborators are not welcome here.


Haha! I've been called a lot of things over the course of my legal career, but no one has ever called me a "bar examiner apologist/collaborator" before! :mrgreen:



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