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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 http://mckinneylaw.iu.edu/students/bar-exam/.)

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. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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