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Letters to the Editor: Don’t tell lawyers who failed the bar exam that law school was a waste

McGeorge School of Law students study in class in Sacramento.
Students at the McGeorge School of Law study in class in Sacramento.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As a retired attorney, I was disappointed with your characterization of the California bar examination as an “annual hazing ritual” that determines whether law school graduates have “wasted three years of their lives.”

Although the state bar exam has its problems and needs reform, comparing it to an out-of-control frat party is not helpful. More distressing, however, is telling students who worked hard in law school that because they did not pass the exam (presumably on the first try), they wasted three years of their lives.

I was not successful on my first attempt in 1978. While understandably I was very disappointed, I never felt I had wasted my time in law school. I signed up for the next exam, studied hard and passed. I went on to practice law in San Diego County for more than 35 years. I know of other attorneys with similar experiences.

So instead of telling students they wasted their law school years, how about a round of applause for those who finished law school and a little kindness for those who were not successful on their first (or any) try at the bar exam.

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Rochelle Hershfield, San Diego


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