Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rosin on Benchmarking the Bar

Professor Gary Rosin of South Texas College of Law has just posted "Benchmarking the Bar: No Unity in Difference Scores " on ssrn.

His abstract is as follows:

Under ABA proposed Interpretation 301-6, the primary benchmark used to measure the adequacy of a law-school's academic program would be the amount by which is “local” Bar passage rate for first-takers differs from the overall passage rate for all first-takers from ABA-approved law schools. The study used generalized linear modeling as a method to compare Bar “difference scores” of ABA-approved law-schools in two states, New York and California. The study found that Bar difference scores in California were significantly more sensitive to changes in law-school relative LSAT scores than were Bar difference scores in New York. Bar difference scores - subtracting the “local” overall ABA Bar passage rate - do not fully adjust for variations in state grading practices, especially differences in minimum passing scores (“cut scores”) . . .

Propertyprof readers will recall that we discussed 301-6 earlier this year.  Rosin's paper has important implications for how we think about the use of LSAT scores for admissions, as well as bar pass rates for accreditation.

Alfred L. Brophy
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