Monday, April 29, 2019

Ultimate Bar Passage: Law Schools at Risk

The Faculty Lounge has a post on the potential effects of ultimate bar passage:

Ultimate Bar Passage: Law Schools at Risk by Gary Rosin.

"The Council of the Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has twice proposed that, for accreditation purposes, the Bar passage requirements of Standard 316 be amended to focus solely on what the ABA calls "Ultimate" Bar passage: the percentage of a law school's graduates who pass the Bar within two years of graduation. All ABA law schools would have to maintain Ultimate Bar passage percentages of at least 75% for every year-group of graduates. The proposed Standard 316 would abandon the current alternate measure, which compares a law school's first-time Bar passage percentage to the ABA first-time Bar passage percentages in each state where its graduates took the Bar.

The proposed new Standard 316 has twice been rejected by the ABA House of Delegates. Despite that, ABA rules permit the Section Council to "reaffirm and adopt" the proposed revision to Standard 316. It is widely expected that they will do so."

"For 2015 graduates, 20 law schools reported Ultimate Bar passage percentages below the 75% minimum required to comply with the proposed amendment to Standard 316. For 2016 graduates, 24 law schools reported Ultimate Bar passage percentages below 75%.

Of these, 14 law schools reported two-year Ultimate Bar passage percentages below 75% for both 2015 and 2016 graduates."

As I have stated many times in the past, instead of fighting the change to ultimate bar passage, law schools should improve how they deliver instruction so that they can avoid ultimate bar passage's consequences.

(Scott Fruehwald)

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