Bar Examinees Subjected To Freezing Conditions At Test Venue

freezing cold associateMark Twain quipped, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” For California bar examinees, their coldest winter might have actually been a winter spent in San Francisco… inside the bar exam venue.

When February bar applicants convened in the Cow Palace, a venue not technically in San Francisco (though the parking lot actually is), they found themselves subjected to a frozen hellscape that no human being could endure. Except in Alabama, obviously.

From Karen Sloan over at Reuters:

“I was so cold in the morning I almost couldn’t type my fingers were so freezing,” one bar taker wrote.

Examinee Deborah Tharp told Reuters on Wednesday that she experienced multiple muscle cramps throughout the day as a result of the cold conditions in the Cow Palace and that she complained to both the venue and the State Bar of California, which administers the exam. She had yet to receive any responses by Wednesday morning. The exam continues today with the Multistate Bar Exam, comprised of 200 multiple-choice questions.

“I could see my breath when I first arrived,” said Tharp, who added that it felt colder inside the venue than outside. “There was ice in the bottom of my water bottle that I picked up off the concrete floor when I was done.”

The Cow Palace has been through a lot over the years, hosting the 1964 GOP Convention where Barry Goldwater proclaimed that “extremism” was “no vice” and the San Jose Sharks through its initial abysmal seasons. It’s a tossup which cursed the arena more.

It was somewhere between 50 and 60 degrees in that area yesterday. How does it get colder inside? And, admittedly, Southern Californians are the brand of soft that complain about 55 degree weather, but those of the North, like their Winterfell brethren, know that winter is coming — and never leaving year-round.

You’ve always been a member of the California bar.

The state bar said in a statement on Wednesday that its staff is working with Cow Palace facility management to “resolve these issues as quickly as possible.” The bar said that some test takers reported being cold Tuesday morning but by the end of the day some said it was too warm. A Cow Palace representative did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

I guess Reuters got the cold shoulder from the Cow Palace.

Applicants worried that they would be at a disadvantage compared to test-takers in more hospitable locations. It’s a possibility, but you can’t approach the test like that. Just go out there and do what you can do. As one expert in dealing with cold conditions once put it, you have to… ugh… Let It Go.

Bar exam takers in California literally left in the cold, they say [Reuters]

HeadshotJoe 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.


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