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Bar exam scandal: Law Society cancels bar exams after questions leaked to candidates

Bar exam scandal: Law Society cancels bar exams after questions leaked to candidates

The Law Society of Ontario has cancelled the upcoming barrister and solicitor examinations, scheduled to be written from March 8 to 11, and March 22 to 25, respectively. The decision was made, the Society said in a release issued this afternoon, ” as a result of information the Law Society has received which strongly indicates that examination content has been improperly accessed by some candidates, compromising the integrity of the upcoming examination period. Evidence indicates the potential involvement of third parties in this activity.”

The decision affects approximately 1100 candidates who were set to write online examinations, beginning Tuesday.

“We appreciate that this decision is upsetting news to those candidates not involved in improper conduct,” said Diana Miles, Chief Executive Officer. “However, this is a critical and necessary step to protect the integrity of the licensing process and the reputation of those candidates not involved. Most importantly, as the regulator of the legal professions it is incumbent upon us to take immediate action to protect the public interest.”

The Law Society says examinations will be rescheduled as soon as possible, once additional measures have been implemented to further strengthen the delivery of licensing examinations; affected candidates will receive additional information through their online accounts.

Meanwhile, the Law Society has brought in a team of external investigators. This in-depth investigation includes review of candidates who have previously written examinations and may have received and relied on improperly obtained licensing examination content to assist their examination attempt.

Recently, affected licensing candidates who would originally have been eligible for licensure were notified that the Law Society is conducting an assessment of their examinations and that their eligibility to be called to the bar is being held in abeyance pending that assessment.

In addition, affected candidates who would originally have been eligible to attempt a licensing examination at the next available opportunity have been notified that the Law Society is assessing their prior licensing examination, and that their eligibility to attempt another is in abeyance pending that assessment.

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