And while I agree no one is going to be able to pass the bar without taking a good bar prep course, there are very real things schools can do to raise their bar passage rates significantly. One school was able to go from a sub 70% bar passage rate to an over 90% bar passage rate in the span of 10 years. There are actually schools that have done this successfully and it wasn't only due to flunking out a chunk of those in the bottom of the 1L class or tightening up admissions standards. Some schools have actually changed their approach to teaching and the way exams are given in order to increase bar passage rates.
BUT one of the reasons some schools have such low bar passage rates is that a good chunk of their students cannot afford to take a good bar prep course. Or if they can afford a course, they cannot put in the required study time while working 40+ hours a week in order to pay bills and living expenses. Don't get me wrong, there are some students who can pass first try if they do bar exam study while working full time. I'm convinced that most students do not fall into this category, however.
Denver is a good example of both these situations. Up until last year they had no school sponsored bar program whatsoever and there bar passage rates lagged behind CU. A big part of this problem was DU graduates about 100 evening students a year the vast majority of whom work and many have families as well. PMBR does not offer any classes at all in the evenings, BarbRi does, but they are very expensive. The school hired a bar guru and now has a free bar prep program that goes along with barbri that any graduate can enroll in. Its really a great program, and includes 4 full mock bars. The only problem is its during the day and during the week.
So again evening students are left out. And its not just evening students a fair number of FT day stunts are working FT in firms as well. To really bring the bar passage rate up to where it should be they need to offer more evening classes and programs here. Thatís a big difference between DU and CU, none of my friends at CU are working during bar prep but many of my PT and FT DU frieds are doing so. One of the advantages on being in town as opposed to an hour away in Boulder is you can get clerking jobs and not commute, but you pay by not having the whole day to study.