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

January 29, 2014

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.

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