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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. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

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