We’ve all heard about Kim passing the baby bar and one of her answers being selected as the model response, but we’ve not yet focused on her revelation that she considered wearing adult diapers to take the exam. Because what got played off as light daytime TV small talk was really a dark and terrifying peek into America’s broken attorney licensing system.
Last week, Kim told Ellen that when she goes out she will wear anything to look good, admitting that she’d wear a diaper if she needed to so she didn’t have to ruin the look. Ellen followed up by asking if Kardashian ever replaced her SKIMS with Depends, and the aspiring lawyer replied that she hadn’t, but that “I actually bought adult diapers when I took the bar exam because I didn’t know how it worked, so I thought I had to sit there for eight hours straight.”
Ultimately she didn’t have to because she took the exam in person and there are breaks scheduled throughout the day. But this little anecdote is all too real for some people who took the test during the pandemic.
When examiners shifted to online proctoring during the height of COVID, tech experts warned that it would present insurmountable problems because the technology required to administer the exam in the precise, archaic manner bar examiners demand just isn’t there. Instead, examinees had to sit perfectly still, taking the test like they were trying to avoid the T-Rex from Jurassic Park, getting flagged for cheating when they accidentally blinked too often.
Assuming the recognition software recognized a face at all.
We heard from people who urinated on themselves during the online bar exam. Another managed to go into a bottle while staring, unmoving, at the proctor on the other end of the camera, which requires the right mix of badass determination and lack of shame for this profession. Yet another examinee at the time said she had to jettison the test because her period hit mid-exam. The point is, adult diapers are not a joke for a lot of people who took the test online.
And just because we’ve moved away from the online exam, the mentality behind it and the addiction to inflexible tradition over accommodation and humanity still shapes the exam going forward.
How does an advanced society have any test where “well, maybe I need to prepare to piss myself” is casually accepted as a reasonable precaution? Can we at least consider that this is all messed up?
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.