« on: March 07, 2014, 08:06:36 PM »
Glad to provide some additional information regarding our July 2013 bar exam results. Obviously there is nothing good about those results. There is no way to put a good face on a 0-11 cohort. Fortunately for us, despite how horrible that looks, the details provide additional information for consideration. Our graduating class of 2013 that makes up the majority of this cohort divided their first-time test sessions approximately as follows: Out of the graduating class of 20, 5 took the February 2013 exam, 10 took the July 2013 exam and 5 either just took the February 2014 exam or are waiting for the July 2014 exam. As a working adult population, our students schedule their bar prep and exam session based on a number of factors, available work vacation, seasonal work load, finances, family scheduling, etc. This pattern is quite different that the typical law school where virtually everyone graduates in May and takes the July bar exam.
In February 2013, 4 out of 5 graduated early (December) and passed the exam. The one who did not, skipped July 2013 and sat for a second time February 2014.
In July 2013, the 10 candidates represent the middle and lower cohort of the class based on graduating GPA. Because we host the bar review program, we know that 8 of the 10 did not complete the bar review program (for a variety of reasons, including health, job, family crisis, and in far too many cases . . . poor judgement) prior to sitting for the July exam. Unfortunately, we knew what that would mean long before the scores were released. In the case of the 2 who did the proper prep and did not pass, the scores were close and we fully expect them to pass on the second sitting. Of the 8 who didn't do adequate bar prep, at least half of them have owned up to the mistake and buckled down to get it right the second time and we would anticipate from past experience that this will be true and the results will reflect their effort. We will still need to see the results of the final 5 who either just took the February 2014 exam or will be taking the July 2014 exam. I anticipate that when the dust settles, the class of 2013 will end up with a 60-65% cumulative pass rate. This is below our expectations and below the results of the classes that preceded them. However, in a small school with small testing cohorts, this is difficult to avoid over a multi-year period.
So, the final observation is that we think (and fervently hope) that the class of 2013 was an anomaly and that our five-year cumulative pass rate of 66-68% better represents the results that our graduates achieve on the California Bar Exam. I didn't mention it before, but I assume that you realize that the state-wide first-time pass rate in California is 55% and not the 75-80% that is experienced in all other jurisdictions.