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Changes to Indiana bar exam approved

November 16, 2015

The Indiana Supreme Court has approved changes to the Indiana Bar Examination, aimed at better reflecting the current practice of law in the state.

The changes are confined to the Indiana essay portion of the exam and will not be effective until February 2018. Two topics have been dropped while three new topics have been added. Two other topics have been clarified as to what areas the questions will focus.

Untouched are the Multistate Performance Test and Multistate Bar Examination.  

The topics being dropped are:
•    Personal property; and
•    Uniform Commercial Code Article 3, negotiable instruments, and Article 4, bank deposits and collections.

The topics being added are:
•    Indiana employment law including wage payment and wage claim statutes;
•    Indiana debt collection, including garnishment, attachment and bankruptcy exemptions; and
•    Residential landlord-tenant law.

Topics being clarified are:
•    Pleading and practice, including statutes of limitation and the Indiana Tort Claims Act; and
•    Taxation including questions on income tax, corporate tax and estate and gift tax.
 
Topics being retained are:
•    UCC Article 9, secured transactions;
•    Administrative law;
•    Business organizations;
•    Indiana constitutional law; and
•    Family law.

The BLE has been considering possible changes for a couple of years. It looked at other jurisdictions and gathered information on areas of law most commonly practiced in Indiana, especially by “newly minted lawyers,” said Bradley Skolnik, BLE executive director.

Following a public comment period, the board tweaked its original proposal. Skolnik said the BLE found the comments to be thoughtful and beneficial and they played a key role in determining the final changes.

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