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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.

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  • Exactly.
    I couldn't agree more. Personal responsibility really needs to make a comeback.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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