Carol Platt Liebau: In Fairness . . .

Thursday, June 07, 2007

In Fairness . . .

I'm not usually one to defend Hillary Clinton -- and, in general, I agree with the editorials that appear in Investors' Business Daily.

But in fairness, today's IBD piece -- about Hillary Clinton flunking the DC bar -- has got it wrong, in my opinion. In essense, the piece asks (not without some justification): If Hillary is really the smartest woman in the world (as we're all told on a regular basis), how is it that she failed one of the easiest bar exams in the nation?

The problem is that the question really isn't one of intelligence -- it's a matter of preparation. Even brilliant lawyers (like my former constitutional law professor Kathleen Sullivan) can fail the bar (albeit the California bar, one of the toughest in the country). The bar exam has little to do with the "real" practice of law, and (as some have said of the SAT) requires a particularized set of test-taking skills to learn how to answer the questions in the way the bar examiners want to see them.

Almost anyone of normal intelligence (and, in fact, quite a few who are sub-par) are capable of passing any bar just fine, so long as they take a bar review course, pay attention, and put in the time to learn what they need to know in order to convince the graders they should pass the exam.

If Hillary didn't pass the bar, it's probably because she didn't study. That may reflect arrogance -- and her own conviction that she was too smart to need to put in the time -- but it doesn't necessarily reflect stupidity or ineptitude when it comes to a larger knowledge of the law in general.

3 Comments:

Blogger Marshall Art said...

Your kindness in defending Shrillary in this case doesn't surprise me in the least. But Carol, you're going to confuse the lefties who visit here.

2:51 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

But isn't that the point, Marshal?

We conservatives look at issues while the liberals live through emotion? Personally - looking at Obama, Brek-Girl and Hillary - It pains me to say this. However Shrillary is the better candidate--


Ouch that hurt!

7:31 AM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

Gettin' cramps, aren't ya? But I know between the three, it's like saying you prefer a punch to the forehead rather than a punch to either cheek.

11:36 PM  

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