Thursday, November 12, 2015
At BarWrite, Mary Campbell Gallagher shares her thoughts:
Overall, across the country, the MBE scores in July 2015 are the lowest since 1988. According to Bloomberg, the mean score in July 2015 was 139.9, down from 141.5 in July 2014. Professor Derek Muller provides graph of the scores here. As for New York, in July of 2015, only 79 per cent of first-time takers who graduated from ABA-approved law schools passed the bar exam. That compares with 83 per cent and 86 per cent, respectively, in the preceding two years. See the Board of Law Examiners press releases here.
According to watchdog organization Law School Transparency, this year, the bottom quarter of students admitted to 74 law schools are unlikely, given their LSAT scores, to pass the bar exam.
I suspect that law schools admitting so many high-risk students have not changed their teaching methods. Could teaching methods make a difference to bar passage? That's worth exploring.
Dr. Gallagher also offers her advice on passing the bar. Two of her suggestions:
1. Recognize that the main cause of bar exam failure is not knowing enough black letter law.
2. Do careful analysis of MBE practice questions. Do not substitute doing quantities of questions for mastering application of law to facts.
You can read more here.