March 5, 2005
Solving the Bar Pass Problem
Clicking on the article title (above) will bring you to the National Conference of Bar Examiners' pages that include a long excerpt from Professor Day's thought-provoking article. Professor Day notes that many of the ideas and information included in his essay were the result of a two-day conference at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio, in June of 2001. Rich Litvin and I were also in attendance - what a remarkable gathering of Academic Support professionals and Bar Examiners. We ought to do that more often. The essay from which these excerpts were taken was originally published in the California Western Law Review, Spring 2004 issue (40 Cal.W.L.Rev. 321).
"The most important obligation of law schools," Professor Day maintains, "is to prepare their students to become capable, practicing lawyers ... and law students must pass the bar or they cannot practice law." Professor Day describes the alarming decline in bar passage rates. "This article," he suggests, "calls law schools and their faculty to action to recognize and address the problem." He then offers a variety of techniques and strategies (twenty-two to be specific) to help increase overall scores and prevent the devastating consequences of failure.
Through techniques such as identifying innate learning differences in students, emphasizing better legal writing, offering special non-credit bar prep courses, and giving students more detailed feedback and assistance, Professor Day provides straightforward advice about the bar and how to increase pass rates.
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