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Michigan’s chief justice apologizes for lawyer exam hiccups

Bridget McCormack, Chief Justice Michigan Supreme Court photo

Michigan’s chief justice suggested a state exam might not be the best way to license lawyers in the state.

Bridget McCormack apologized for snafus with this week’s online exam, which was used to avoid coronavirus risks. There were problems with technology and passwords during a stage of the test.

“We will find out exactly what went wrong and address it for those affected and for future applicants,” McCormack said in a Wednesday letter to more than 700 test takers. “There are larger questions about the Bar Exam that should be discussed, too.”

McCormack wonders if the exam is the best way to measure competency and whether it creates “unfair barriers” to working in law.

“Are there ways to fundamentally change how lawyers are trained, licensed and regulated?” McCormack said.

The Supreme Court has the power to supervise the practice of law in Michigan and make final decisions on rules enforced by the Board of Law Examiners, which administers the exam.