Screengrab via SlashGear/YouTube

MacBook Pro Touch Bar banned from bar exam in 12 states

A notoriously difficult test just added one more hurdle.


Monica Riese


Published Jan 31, 2017   Updated May 25, 2021, 2:29 am CDT

We all know lawyers like to play by the book, but apparently the MacBook is a different story.

Law students in North Carolina have been officially asked by the Board of Law Examiners of the State of North Carolina to turn off the Touch Bar feature prior to taking the exam next month. (The instructions that follow “don’t actually turn off the bar entirely, but rather switch it to its Extended Control Strip setting,” Digital Trends notes.)

If you thought this all sounds extreme, note that at least 11 states—California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia—have banned the latest MacBook Pro from their test settings entirely.

At issue is the Touch Bar’s programmable nature: In the control strip setting that North Carolina has requested, it serves the same purpose as the traditional row of function keys. But in Apple’s demo of the new feature during its October debut, the company showcased how easily users can tailor the Touch Bar’s use to specific programs, easily morphing into a search field, a row of bookmarks, or anything else you’ve dragged and dropped to the bar.

While software like SofTest is generally in place to prohibit internet access and cheat files during the exam, such software needs to catch up to the latest generation of technology in order to fully restrict any access from those means as well. Hence the Bar ban.

This could spell trouble for law students who plan to bring their own devices to the multi-day exam that’s notorious for its difficulty. Of course, if you were counting on being able to cheat on a legal exam with your new laptop, maybe you should consider an alternate career path anyway.

H/T Digital Trends

Share this article
*First Published: Jan 31, 2017, 2:35 pm CST