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Indiana Adds Some Bankruptcy to Its Bar Exam

posted by Bob Lawless

Bernie Trujillo emailed me from Valparaiso University with the news that the Indiana bar examiners have added some bankruptcy law to the state bar exam. Specifically and effective February 2018, the Indiana bar exam will include "Indiana debt collection, including garnishment, attachment, and bankruptcy exemptions." A few years back, I noted that bankruptcy law was fair game on the Texas bar exam. Indiana's move appears to double the number of states with coverage of any bankruptcy law on the state exam. Regardless of whether bankruptcy law needs to be covered, I think it is probably a good thing to add coverage of judicial remedies. Every year in my courses, a fair percentage of the students seem surprised to learn that all those judicial decisions they study in the first year are not self-enforcing.

Indiana's move also bucks a trend noted by Slipster Jason Kilborn of declining coverage of commercial law law on state bar exams. In addition to debt collection law, Indiana is adding secured transactions to the list of subjects.

UPDATE (11/17/15): Bernie pointed out that secured transactions was already covered under the heading "commercial law," which is no longer listed. The change was to scale back "commercial law" to "secured transactions." Because sales is tested under the heading "contracts" by the Multistate Bar Exam, the Indiana change is effectively the same as Jason noted with the move by the Multistate Bar Examiners with regard to their essays -- dropping negotiable instruments/UCC Articles 3 and 4.

Comments

Washington State's bar exam did not directly cover bankruptcy, but you were expected to know the basics preferences for the commercial law portion. However, I took it when it was still an all essay exam and you picked up points by issue spotting.

I'm not sure what--exactly--is subsumed by the phrase "creditor's rights", but that is a listed topic on the VA bar exam. see http://barexam.virginia.gov/pdf/VBBERules.pdf

Creditor's Rights in Virginia means enforcement of money judgments. Interrogatories, garnishments, fieri facias, etc.

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  • As a public service, the University of Illinois College of Law operates Bankr-L, an e-mail list on which bankruptcy professionals can exchange information. Bankr-L is administered by one of the Credit Slips bloggers, Professor Robert M. Lawless of the University of Illinois. Although Bankr-L is a free service, membership is limited only to persons with a professional connection to the bankruptcy field (e.g., lawyer, accountant, academic, judge). To request a subscription on Bankr-L, click here to visit the page for the list and then click on the link for "Subscribe." After completing the information there, please also send an e-mail to Professor Lawless (rlawless@illinois.edu) with a short description of your professional connection to bankruptcy. A link to a URL with a professional bio or other identifying information would be great.

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