Inbox: Attorney responds to letter suggesting refunds for failing bar exam

January 29, 2014
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Letters to the Editor

To the editor:

In reply to Mr. Robert C. Thompson, Jr.’s proposal in the “Viewpoint” column that law schools issue full refunds when alumni fail the Bar Exam twice, I respectfully disagree.

In the modern day spirit of “let’s give every child who competes a blue ribbon,” Mr. Thompson proposes that all Bar test-takers receive passing scores or else receive a law school refund — which, he said, is his idea of “fairness.” Reading Mr. Thompson’s proposal was akin to watching a fussy toddler throw a tantrum when he doesn’t get his way. In the real world, not everyone will pass the Bar Exam, and not every child will win first place in a competition. As an alumna of the Robert H. McKinney School of Law, I can attest to the caliber and professionalism the faculty and staff displays. Indeed, Dean Klein and Dean Page were my two favorite professors, and the law school is fortunate to have such stellar scholars — who also happen to be thoughtful, caring people — at its helm.

As a law student, I attended evening classes, worked two jobs (including weekends), and raised three children simultaneously. Indeed, I was seven months pregnant when I took the Bar Exam, which I passed the first time. Preparation and success on the Bar Exam hinges upon one’s individual dedication and intrinsic motivation, not upon outside forces or law school professors. Passing the Bar Exam — much like enduring the marathon of Law School — requires endless study, sacrifice, and a personal drive to succeed.

Mr. Thompson also uses faulty logic in comparing a warrantied $75,000 Cadillac which fails to run 20% of the time to Bar Exam failure. Buying an expensive car requires neither intellectual efforts nor years of sleepless days and nights. Truly, you get out of the Bar Exam what you put into it. Or, as my wise four-year-old says, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” I would advise students blaming the Law School for their foibles and failures to follow suit.

Kind regards,

Sally R. Hubbard, Esq.


  • Phone Employment Numbers Published by Law Schools
    I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues