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Chinn: Examining the IndyBar Review

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iba-chinn-scottIf you are a person who finds things to like about winter—the pristine beauty of snow, skiing, ice fishing—bully for you. For the rest of us, we gut through it, hoping that it will build character and cause a deeper appreciation of spring. Now think about preparing for and taking the Indiana Bar’s winter examination on February 28-29! Brutal.

For 12 years, the IndyBar has been adding warmth and inspiration to bar exam study through its IndyBar Review Course. In 2001, Professor Larry Jegen of the Robert H. McKinney School of Law sold his bar review course to the IndyBar for $1. Today, more than 200 students per year take the IndyBar Review Course, which is offered in preparation for both the winter and summer bar exams.

The IndyBar Review is a point of pride for the IndyBar. We are the only bar in the country to sponsor a bar review course. We get asked about it a lot by our peers at bar meetings. Some are considering following the IndyBar’s lead and are considering developing courses in their states. We have encouraged them to consider it—and at the same time cautioned about the scope of the undertaking. The IndyBar Review has 27 faculty members who lecture or instruct on 22 substantive subjects as well as 6 studying and exam-taking workshops covering the Multistate Bar Exam, the Multistate Performance Test, and the Indiana Essay Exam.

The cost of the IndyBar Review course is a little less than the competition, but that represents value, not less service. There are several reasons why. First, you can’t argue with results. The passage rate for exam takers that complete the IndyBar Review Course is higher than the average of all persons who sit for the exam. Second, all the lecturers are local practitioners who are experienced, established and well known in their fields of lecture. And the IndyBar’s staff and Steering Committee pay close attention to quality control through surveys and feedback as well as engaging in constant vetting of best practices to improve the course. Third, because the lecturers are local and aren’t traveling the country on the “bar review lecture circuit”, they are available to answer students’ post-lecture questions quickly. Finally, especially for students who intend to stay and practice law in Indiana after the bar exam, it is a real opportunity to get to know some of the leadings lawyers in our community and to be part of this additional bar-sponsored network before they are even sworn in.

I have taught the IndyBar Review lecture on Indiana Constitutional Law for five years now. I concede it is sometimes daunting to prepare for a 3 ½ hour lecture on the subject (especially in February). But when it is over, it is a great feeling to have connected with scores of students as they prepare to take the exam. The basic premises of our sponsorship of the course, after all, is that the IndyBar has a stake in the success of these bar applicants with respect to the exam and their budding careers, and we want to do something for them that earns their support for the IndyBar over the long term.

So, if you are a lawyer that has any sway over what bar review course a student takes, please consider sending them our way. We will take good care of them.•

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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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