Inbox: Attorney proposes refund if student fails bar exam twice

January 15, 2014
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Letters to the Editor

To the editor of The Indiana Lawyer:

In response to Dean Klein’s article, “Law Schools can’t be good, fast and cheap,” I take exception to his premise. First, as the cost of legal education has grown dramatically, the quality of the education, as determined by Indiana Bar Exam pass rates, has declined.

In my discussions with representatives of the Board of Law Examiners, I was told the Bar Exam is “a test of minimum competency to practice law.” Please explain to me, Dean, why you believe the quality of the Law School has improved while failure rates of the Indiana Bar Exam from your school are 20% for first time takers. (Editor’s note: Those rates can be viewed at

Your institution has control over what students are admitted. You also control the professors who teach and what they teach. Your institution also certifies individuals for graduation, which makes them eligible to take the Indiana Bar exam. With all of this control, why is there a 20% failure rate?

If I spend $75,000.00 for a Cadillac and it failed to run 20% of the time, can you imagine how incensed I would be? One thing that Cadillac provides that you don’t is a warranty. If the Cadillac doesn’t run and can’t be fixed, I am entitled to a refund.

My Solution

If an individual applies to your law school and is accepted, and the individual is certified by the school by meeting all graduation requirements and the individual takes the bar exam twice and fails, the school should issue a refund for all monies paid by the individual to the school. This is my idea of fairness, which might lead law schools to be better, faster and cheaper.

Robert C. Thompson, Jr.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.