Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Einstein's Definition of Insanity Applied to Law Schools

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."  Although a number of sources doubt that Einstein ever said this, the force of the quote remains valid.  Unfortunately, many law schools are suffering from this type of insanity.

Here is the latest news from the TaxProf Blog:

California Bar Exam Pass Rate Sinks To All-Time Low: 27.3%

"Only a quarter of applicants passed the California bar exam in its most recent sitting, the State Bar of California announced this week, a record low for the test that lawyers must successfully complete to practice in the state. The pass rate for the February exam sank to just 27.3 percent, about 7 percentage points lower than last year and the first time since 1986 that it has fallen below 30 percent. The previous low, according to a summary of results since 1951, came in the spring of 1983, when 27.7 percent of applicants passed."

Here is the insanity:  Year after year, many law schools admit students with lower and lower indicators.  They also do little to help these students succeed in law school, such as adopting new approaches to legal education.  Yet they are surprised by their declining pass rates.

As I have said many, many times here, the only way to fix this is by either

1) raising law school admittance standards or

2) significantly changing how law schools teach their students.

Of course, the best answer is a combination of both.

It is grossly unethical to keep admitting students who will not pass the bar.  Even students who pass the bar are often shouldered with enormous debt.  If law schools are going to continue to operate, they must change their teaching methods.  (Yes, I know I sound like a broken record, but things must change.)

(Scott Fruehwald)

This is what Elie Mystal said on Above the Law: "Only 27% of test takers passed the February 2018 administration of the California bar exam. I hope clients everywhere appreciate that California is trying to keep them safe from people who probably shouldn’t have gotten into law school in the first place."




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