Bar Exams, Education / Schools, Law Schools, United Kingdom / Great Britain

Woman Sues Oxford Institute of Legal Practice For Ruining Her Career

I guess in some ways the legal economy across the pond is just as challenging as it is in America. And it seems that some British students are just as averse to personal responsibility as American students.  A graduate of Oxford Law the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice is suing the school for £100,000, claiming that the school “ruined” her legal career.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post may have given the erroneous impression that the plaintiff is suing the University of Oxford, the venerable and world-renowned institution that most people are referring to when they refer to “Oxford.” Although the plaintiff attended the University of Oxford as an undergraduate, where she studied law, she is actually suing the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice. According to a tipster who’s a graduate of the University of Oxford, the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice — which happens to be located in Oxford, UK — is not currently affiliated with the University of Oxford.

How did OXILP ruin her career? She claims that they didn’t prepare her to take crucial legal exams. Yeah, let me rephrase: she failed her exams and is now blaming the school.

You know, if Ben Kenobi was still alive, I think he’d scream, “You have done that yourself.” But let’s hear the sad tale of Maria Abramova…

Really, it sounds like she expected Oxford to be the British version of BarMax.

UPDATE: There’s a debate going on in the comments to this post about the extent to which OXILP is a British version of BarMax. I’m not going to get into the debate; I will instead strike my earlier comment from the record.

The Daily Mail reports:

Maria Abramova claims staff at the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice let her down by failing to coach her in crucial exam techniques before she flunked her first set of exams in May 2005.

But the Institute is fighting the case and hotly disputes her allegations.

The 28-year-old Oxford University graduate says her experiences at the Institute (OXILP) left her with a critical blind spot in tackling exams, contributing to her failing the coveted New York bar examinations three years ago.

I find it hard to believe that nobody told Abramova to take a bar review course specifically for the New York bar exam. And to the extent she thought that she shouldn’t have to take a bar review course after studying law at Oxford — well, I don’t think I should have to sober up before coming to work, but I do it. Sometimes you just have to follow the crowd at chow time.

It will surprise no one that the New York Bar wasn’t the only test Abramova failed:

‘I recently decided not to retake that examination,’ she told the court, adding: ‘This is because I have found it psychologically difficult to take legal examinations following my experiences on the Course and subsequently, at OXILP’.

And although the gifted linguist has managed to carve out a career as a paralegal with a UK firm specialising in aviation law, she says she still feels haunted by her failure to qualify as a solicitor because she never passed the Property Law and Practice (PLP) element of her course.

You know what? I think there’s probably an Oxford admissions officer who is “haunted” by his or her decision.

Funny, I’m happy to blame law schools for enticing people into school with the promise of jobs that they have no hope of getting. But when it just comes to passing a test, I have to place the onus on the student. The information is out there. Study it. Get a tutor. Get over your haunting failure and try again.

I mean, chances are that Abramova will get right back up on the frivolous lawsuit horse after this claim gets kicked to the curb.

Oxford graduate sues law college for £100,000 after it ‘failed to prepare her for exams and ruined legal career’ [Daily Mail]

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