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Determining Whether To Pursue A Bar Exam Appeal

Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A key factor in determining whether you should appeal is knowing how many additional points you need to pass the exam. If you have failed by only a few points, you should consider having your essay exam evaluated by an attorney. You will also want to review the scoring of your essay answers to make sure that there are no human scoring errors (such as your essay clearly warranted a score of “10", but was only scored a “1").


To determine your score, you will need to order a copy of your bluebook (or ExamSoft answers) immediately by sending a written request and a $20 money order. You can also call the Board of Law Examiners and ask how many points you need to pass the exam. We cannot stress enough that these two steps should be taken immediately upon receipt of your bar exam results.


Once you have your bluebook/ExamSoft answers, Speaker Law will review and evaluate them for free and provide you with an honest assessment as to whether it would be worth pursuing an appeal.


Filing an Appeal.


Time is critical. Once the exam scores are released, you have thirty (30) days from that date to ask the Board of Law Examiners to reconsider your essay scores. The Board of Law Examiner policy statements provide that “[a]ppeals must be postmarked by the date stated in the material received by applicants failing the exam.” Unless there was a delay in releasing your results pending the Board’s receipt of your law school certification, there are NO exceptions to this deadline.


To appeal your essay score, you must submit a request, the answers given in your bluebook, and an explanation why you deserve a higher grade. Although this sounds straightforward, convincing the Board that you are entitled to additional points requires an objective and honest assessment of your answers. Creative argument is unlikely to yield you additional points. This is where an experienced appellate advocate can benefit you. It is very difficult for you to evaluate your answers objectively during such a stressful time.  

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