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Indiana bar exam may change test topics

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Hopeful attorneys who take the Indiana bar exam in 2016 may no longer have to write essays on commercial law, personal property, and taxation based on proposed changes from the Indiana Board of Law Examiners.

The BLE wants comment on its proposed changes to the Indiana Essay Examination. It believes commercial law is typically used by specialists more than general practitioners, that personal property is too narrow of a subject area, and taxation is extremely broad and the laws are often changing.

Instead, it will keep the other topics currently used on the test and possibly add debtor/creditor law and employment law. The BLE cites that these two law sections are among the largest in the Indiana State Bar Association.

The BLE is also proposing that six of the topics already tested in the Multistate Bar Exam be added to the potential topics that can be tested on the Indiana Essay Examination, including federal constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, real property and torts.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners recently announced that a seventh section to the Multistate Bar Exam on civil procedure will be added beginning with February 2015 administration of the exam. The number of questions per topic will decrease, with 28 questions covering contracts and 27 questions on the remaining six topics.

More information on the changes to the Indiana bar exam can be found on the BLE’s website.

The changes, if adopted, wouldn’t be implemented until 2016 to give law schools, students and applicants time to prepare.

Comments are due May 31 and may be sent to Executive Director Bradley W. Skolnik at Bradley.skolnik@courts.in.gov or at State Board of Law Examiners, 30 S. Meridian St., Suite 875, Indianapolis IN 46204-3569. He can also be reached at 317-232-2552.

 

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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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