Hundreds taking in-person NC Bar exam draws criticism, concern from students

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- It was a big day for Campbell Law School grads who were taking the bar exam. However some told ABC11 it's the state that's taking a big risk with COVID-19.

"We felt administering this exam in person was unsafe in the middle of the worst pandemic in a century," said Britni Prybol.

ABC11 spent the morning at the fairgrounds. Our crews spotted plenty of signage, plexiglass shields in check-in areas and supplies.

Rich Leonard, the Dean of Campbell Law, posted photos to Facebook showing masked students lined along the social distancing arrows outside of the fairgrounds.

Even with the precautions, Prybol didn't feel good about it and neither did Governor Roy Cooper last week.

FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

"We're always concerned about people's safety, particularly when they're indoors. And I would encourage the state bar of law examiners to make sure they make accommodations for people and they keep people as safe as possible," said Cooper.

Prybol said that didn't happen for her. The mother is recovering from breast cancer and was denied a remote test.

"I'm still in treatment at Duke, I go every 28 days -- as are a lot of women are with this kind of breast cancer. But as much as I express these concerns and send in oncology reports. The NCBLE didn't seem to care," said Prybol.

The NCBLE is responding to those claims. Kimberly Herrick, the board chair says they granted all accommodations related to health concerns specific to immune system concerns even to the extent of allowing a privately administered tests.

As for in-person exams, Herrick provided ABC11 video of the exam rooms where students were required to sit at opposite ends of 8-foot tables -- a practice Herrick says has been in place long before the pandemic.

Have a question about coronavirus? Send it to us here.
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.