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A04645 Summary:

BILL NOA04645
 
SAME ASSAME AS S05324
 
SPONSORSimon
 
COSPNSRBarron, Jackson
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd §460, Judy L
 
Provides for an open book bar examination when the governor has declared a state disaster emergency and allows the state board of law examiners to promulgate rules and regulations as necessary.
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A04645 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A4645
 
SPONSOR: Simon
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the judiciary law, in relation to providing for an open book bar examination   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To amend the Judiciary Law, in relation to providing for an open book bar examination.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Amends Section 1: Section § 460 of the judiciary law, as amended by chapter 226 of the laws of 1985.   JUSTIFICATION: In October 2020, as a result of its inability to hold an in-person bar examination due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NY Board of Law Examiners (BOLE) conducted a remotely administered Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), which examination was created by the National Conference of Bar Examin- ers (NCBE) as an emergency alternative to the bar examination as custom- arily given. It consisted of roughly half the usual and customary bar examination. The February 2021 exam is slated to be a complete UBE administered remotely, multiplying the problems with remote adminis- tration. Critically, the October exam administration required certain computer configurations and power, prompting several test takers to have to purchase, rent or borrow newer laptops, incurring additional expense and stress. Despite this, many test takers encountered computer problems in taking the test, including, but not limited to, losing connectivity during the test and difficulty uploading the video of their taking the exam. Even more critically, the remote exam administration required electronic surveillance to ensure security. This surveillance mandated the use of Artificial Intelligence facial recognition software, which is notorious- ly flawed in its recognition of black and brown faces, those with facial hair and those of people with certain disabilities or who are transgen- der. Test takers experienced difficulty with this in the downloading of software in advance of the test and during the test. Experts believe that such surveillance violates the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitu- tion. See for example,   HTTPS://STATIC1.SQUARESPACE.COM/STATIC/5C1BFCIEEE175995A4CEB 638/TI5FDCCB6657B8971 CD7A8CC73/1608305510568/2020-12-16 NY÷BAR+ EXAM+TESTIMONYFINAL.PDf Video of the test taker is uploaded to Exam- Soft, the software vendor, for review post hoc, further raising privacy concerns. The fact that ExamSoft as a condition of the test taker down- loading its software in order to sit for the exam, is authorized to share video with law enforcement raises still additional privacy concerns. Moreover, the surveillance software mandated that test takers look at the computer for 90 minutes or more at a time (candidates with disabili- ties had to sit in-frame for 50% or 100% longer periods of time). During such times, test takers could not avert their eyes from the frame or risk being flagged for cheating. Test takers were also forbidden to take a break from the frame of the camera for any reason. This disadvantaged test takers who needed frequent restroom breaks because of a medical condition or because they were menstruating. New York test takers reported urinating in bottles throughout the test while being observed by remote proctors, losing bladder and/or bowel control, and experienc- ing severe bleeding. Others experienced physical pain as a result of not being able to move their bodies or heads; migraine headaches trig- gered by uninterrupted screen time; still others experienced frightening panic attacks. One pregnant woman in another state went into labor but would not leave the frame until she had finished the test for fear of being flagged for cheating. This would all be obviated by administering the bar exam as an open book exam. Lawyers practice law by reference to texts, not by memory. Not only would this reflect the reality of law practice but would eliminate the need for the intrusive remote monitoring software, including facial recognition of test takers, during the upcoming February 2021 bar exam. If the governor has declared a state disaster emergency pursuant to section twenty-eight of the executive law the exam will be conducted in an open book format. The State Board of Law Examiners shall promulgate rules and regulations as necessary to carry out the provisions forth- with.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A04645 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          4645
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    February 4, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. SIMON -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Judiciary
 
        AN ACT to amend the judiciary law, in relation to providing for an  open
          book bar examination
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. Section 460 of the judiciary law, as amended by chapter 226
     2  of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows:
     3    § 460. Examination and admission of attorneys.  1.  An  applicant  for
     4  admission  to  practice as an attorney or counsellor in this state, must
     5  be examined and licensed to practice as prescribed in this  chapter  and
     6  in  the  rules  of  the court of appeals.   Race, creed, color, national
     7  origin, alienage or sex shall  constitute  no  cause  for  refusing  any
     8  person examination or admission to practice.
     9    2. If the governor has declared a state disaster emergency pursuant to
    10  section  twenty-eight  of  the  executive  law such examination shall be
    11  conducted in an open book format. The state board of law examiners shall
    12  promulgate  rules  and  regulations  as  necessary  to  carry  out   the
    13  provisions of this subdivision.
    14    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
 
 
 
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD07525-02-1
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