Law students taking the bar exam have it tough: Three years hitting the books. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition. And all of it, potentially wasted with a few failed attempts at the dreaded state-administered test.

So in late July, with one day of the grueling session behind them, thousands of law students were surprised to find that they couldn’t upload their answers using the software they purchased from Florida-based ExamSoft Worldwide Inc.

Third-year law students with mountains of debt were perhaps not the best crowd to tick off.

They sued. And they sued. And they sued.

“On the long list of things about which exam takers should be worried, wondering whether they will be able to turn in their exams for grading should be at the very bottom,” according to a lawsuit filed in Washington state. “It is hard to imagine anything more basic in an exam than being able to turn it in for grading.”

In Northern California, Eastern Washington and Illinois, students burned by the botched test claimed direct harm and damage to their future earnings. They’re also seeking class action status and looking for other students harmed by the failed test.

The company, through a public relations agency, declined to comment on the litigation.

No one yet knows whether a student failed the bar because of the upload errors. One San Francisco plaintiff said she was still suffering because she hadn’t gotten a clear answer by the time she sued on Aug. 8.

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