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NY Bar Association to continue Mac-free policy

updated 04:25 pm EDT, Wed July 30, 2008

NY Bar to hold off on Mac

Lawyers taking bar exams in New York have once again foregone the use of a Mac this year, according to information from the state's Board of Law Examiners. Since 2003, people taking the exam have been given the option of using special software, which can be preloaded on notebooks for answering the essay and MPT sections of the test. The Board has explicitly stated however that it is refusing to support "any form" of Apple product at the moment, even if is running Windows through Mac OS X Leopard's Boot Camp utility.

The current software instead requires a dedicated Windows notebook, with a 450MHz Pentium III processor and a 32-bit version of 2000, XP or Vista. The New York Times observes though that exam takers have been extremely wary, since a program used last year wiped out the essays of hundreds of applicants, even if all but 47 were recovered. For safety's sake, many people are said to have written this year's exam entirely by hand, tolerating the extra effort required.

The Board is set to approve software for Mac owners no earlier than for the February exam. "We have enough on our plate right now," says John McAlary, the group's executive director.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Sounds like someone is taking a kickback from MS...

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The current software instead requires a dedicated Windows notebook, with a 450MHz Pentium III processor and a 32-bit version of 2000, XP or Vista

    luckily they didn't say a 450 Mhz processor AND Vista :)

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh Noes!

    Oh noes, they won't port their crappy file-destroying software to the Mac until February... I say take your time, and get us a version that DOESN'T eat all your files.

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Thats c*** that they wont even support bootcamp, because when Windows loads up on a Mac with bootcamp, its a regular normal PC.

  1. Elektrix

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: bootcamp

    Yeah, when they say "support" do they just mean they won't help you if you have a problem, or what? Because as you said, with Boot Camp, it would be indistinguishable (h***, even with Parallels it should be).... hard to see how they'd prevent you from using it if you were booted into Windows via Boot Camp.

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They don't "support" (as in provide troubleshooting assistance) or don't "allow" Macs running bootcamp. Support suggest they would allow it, but you never know.

    My guess that they don't want to force exam proctors into the role of determining whether a Mac user is running Bootcamp or something like Parallels. Their software prevents the user from access notes or other resources on their PC (or Mac if running BootCamp). But if you are running Parallels, you could easily switch to the Mac environment and look things up in any reference material you saved on the hard drive.

    So they need to figure out how to close that loophole. The best way would be to create a Mac version that similarly locks down the computer so you can't leave the exam software. But I'm not sure I'd ever want software with that type of control on my system!

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Bootcamp

    Because, short of checking whether the add on software for Parallels, or VMware, or Vbox, or what have you, is installed on the OS, they can't determine for sure whether the machine is strictly bootcamp boot, or a virtualization.

    The software they provide locks down the machine it is running on during testing so folk can't research the answer to a question at the time of testing...

    If the test software is installed on a virtual machine, then locking down that virtualized OS would be pretty pointless.

    It's amusing that potential lawyers can't be trusted. ;)

  1. Xinnix

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who Cares?

    Honestly, who cares? Stuff like this isn't news! Nothing has changed since 2003 so why even report this. Must be a slow day I guess.

  1. jimothy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Thanks for the info, Flying Meat and ender. But couldn't a dishonest lawyer (and doesn't that really describe them all?) run VMware, etc. on Windows, and do the same thing?

  1. Aussie Bruce

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Case for a class action or is preferable not to have those sort of people anywhere near Macs...

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