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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. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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