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Author Topic: Northwestern California University, School of Law.  (Read 23574 times)

jonlevy

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #70 on: July 19, 2012, 11:22:17 AM »
California is not that hard?  Look at the data.  I'm not saying other places like DC and Nevada don't have difficult bar exams as well, but California's must be much harder than average.  (Even the format is very different)
http://blurblawg.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54f871a9c88330168e56bcf99970c-pi

maybe the Cal bar is an anomoly.  The standard answer is either the format is difficult or non ABA takers drag down the average pass rate by 10-20%.  However, until other states allow non ABA degree holders to take their exams, we won't know the answer.  Personally, I think it is neither, California wants about a 50% pass rate and adjusts its grading accordingly.  If the pass rate was 80%, California would be flooded with new lawyers. Protectionism pure and simple which is why California also keeps out of state attorneys from motioning into to both the state bar and US District Courts there.


jack24

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #71 on: July 19, 2012, 11:49:25 AM »
Yeah, I don't know that it has harder content, but I think it's probably harder to pass.  Maybe due to protectionism.

Harvard graduates 560 students a year. (http://www.law.harvard.edu/about/faq.html)
The first time bar passage rate is between 97.1 and 98.5% (http://www.ilrg.com/rankings/law/index.php/1/desc/Bar ; http://www.admissionsdean.com/law_schools/harvard-law-school/bar-exam-performance)
This means that between 8 and 16 out of 560 Harvard grads fail the bar from each class (all jurisdictions combined)
8 Harvard grads failed the California bar in July of 2011.

Cher1300

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #72 on: July 19, 2012, 12:17:01 PM »
http://one-timers.com/faq/how-hard-is-the-california-bar-exam

http://www.quora.com/Why-is-the-California-Bar-Exam-so-hard

It appears just about everyone is correct.  However, I just googled Cal exam difficulty vs. other states and this is not statistical data.  According to these short blogs, the cal bar is more difficult because it's longer than most other state bars, the format is different, has non-ABA students sitting for it, and isn't looking to turn out a huge number of lawyers.

I've met many grads from different ABA schools who have had to take the Cal bar three or four times in some cases.   Similar to what FalconJimmy is saying, I believe my T4 has certainly focused on preparing us for the bar.  Low bar pass rates are reasons to take away a schools accreditation.  That happened to the University of La Verne after they produced just a 35% (not quite sure on the exact number) bar pass rate in July of 2011, but they were given back their accreditation earlier this year.   So while bar pass rates are not everything, it is still a significant factor.  An ABA bar pass rate that low is just unacceptable. 

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #73 on: July 19, 2012, 12:53:56 PM »
I think the objective data indicates that the CA is the toughest substantively, not just because of a unique grading rubric.

MBE: CA requires a scaled score of 144 to pass, most states require a scaled 127.5 to pass

Performance test: CA requires two, three hour long PTs. Most states require either 1 three hour, or one 90 minute PT.

On Civ Pro and Evidence essays CA requires federal and state law analysis, I believe most states only require FRCP/FRE.

Length of exam: three full days, many states (though not all) are two/two and a half.

The low pass rate is not just due to students from unaccredited schools, they actually make up a fairly small percentage of all bar takers in CA. The overwhelming majority of takers are from fully approved ABA schools. The low pass rates for grads of out of state ABA schools is, in my opinion, the best indicator of the CA bar's difficulty. For the 2011 bar, Harvard grads had a 75% pass rate.

legend

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #74 on: July 19, 2012, 12:58:45 PM »
To me it is a bit misleading bar-review is highly individual the #1 student at Harvard could fail if they don't put in the adequate time. However, there does need to be some standard I remember some good students from my school failed the first time because they didn't take it seriously enough.

They easily passed the second time, but they got good grades in law school and assumed it would be easy and by the time they realized it wasn't it was to late for them the first go-round. That goes to Jack's point of bar review is highly individual and I don't think anyone can quite understand it until they go through it.

As to the California pass rate the main reason likely has to do with 8,000 or so people taking that is an insane number and large amount of circumstances. I have a friend a Harvard grad that passed the D.C. bar, N.Y. bar and was working full time and tried to pass the California bar, but they failed. Not because Harvard did an inadequate job or she is incapable of passing the bar she was working in a large firm trying to learn the California nuances and simply didn't have the time. So this will go down as a first-time taker in California from Harvard failing.

Point being there are a infinite number of circumstances and these stats might stand for something, but there are online grads that pass while Harvard grads fail and more often than not it has to do with the individual more than anything California Northwestern or Harvard taught them at least in my anonymous internet poster opinion.

jack24

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #75 on: July 19, 2012, 01:06:13 PM »
Legend: Look at the data in my link if you haven't already.

99% of Cornell grads who took the NY exam passed it.  77% of the Cornell grads who too the Cali exam passed it.  Are you saying the discrepancy might be caused by the individual effort of the grads?

Can you give me some weight on the "might".   You have a group of very intelligent, hard working law students who all had similar LSAT scores and were educated at the same school.  I think the exam is the cause for the discrepancy, not the individual effort.

The data easily meets the probable cause or preponderance standards.  I'd say it's clear and convincing, if not beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #76 on: July 19, 2012, 02:10:21 PM »
I've met many grads from different ABA schools who have had to take the Cal bar three or four times in some cases.   Similar to what FalconJimmy is saying, I believe my T4 has certainly focused on preparing us for the bar.  Low bar pass rates are reasons to take away a schools accreditation.  That happened to the University of La Verne after they produced just a 35% (not quite sure on the exact number) bar pass rate in July of 2011, but they were given back their accreditation earlier this year.   So while bar pass rates are not everything, it is still a significant factor.  An ABA bar pass rate that low is just unacceptable. 

In most states it is nearly unheard of for an ABA grad to have to take the bar three or four times. This is part of the problem I have with the ABA's one-size-fits-all approach to evaluating bar pass rates. Their methodology leaves almost no allowance for the varying difficulty levels between state bars. The ABA compares a school's first time pass rates to other ABA schools within the state.

If you're in Arkansas, for example, that means your school is compared to the only other school in the entire state, both with nearly identical admissions criteria (AK at Little Rock/AK at Fayetteville). If you're in Wisconsin, you don't even have to take the bar! But think of what that means to a small CA school: a CA T4, taking students with roughly the same GPA/LSAT profile as the Arkansas schools, is evaluted against Stanford/Berkeley/UCLA/USC. Even the "mid-range" CA schools like Loyola/Pepperdine/San Diego have average LSAT scores in the 162-164 range. In many states a 164 would be sufficient to gain admission to the state's top law school.

I was using La Verne as an example of how negatively this policy affects otherwise decent schools. Keep in mind that previous to about 2006, bar pass rates were not a big part of the ABA's criteria. Schools occasionaly, sometimes inexplicably, have a bad year. We saw it this year with San Francisco (32%), and last year with Thomas Jefferson (35%). USF is usually much higher, this was an anomoly. TJSL has already increased to 60% since last year. La Verne had the bad luck of having a low-pass year while they were provisionally accredited, which the ABA is much more willing to take away than full accreditation.

In 2009 bar pass rates plummeted state-wide, and La Verne's dropped more than most. They had 35% in 2009, then 47%, 53%, and 57% for the succeeding years. As a result, the ABA waived the usual accreditation rules and granted La Verne approval without having to start the whole processthe over. Their "ultimate bar pass rate", another method the ABA uses, actually exceeded the ABA's requirements. (I think it's around 91%). If you look at the schools that have had problems with the ABA over bar pass rates, they've all been California schools: Western State, Whittier, Golden Gate, La Verne, and now perhaps San Francisco and Thomas Jefferson. I think that fact indicates that there is something unique about the CA bar, and it would make sense to adjust the requirements accordingly.
 
Frankly, I think any school that can take students with low GPA/LSAT combos and get them to pass the hardest bar exam in the country at 50-60% for first timers, 90% overall, is probably doing a decent job. Also, this bar pass policy encourages T4s to admit huge classes then slash 30% (or more) in order to maintain higher pass rates. Ironically, the ABA says it's against this practice. 

BTW, I'm going solely off of memory on the percentages I quoted. If I'm wrong feel free to correct me.

Nor-Cal

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #77 on: July 20, 2012, 01:33:07 AM »
. Keeping in mind that CA has the toughest bar exam in the nation...

Why?  Because so many people fail?  You don't think the fact that so many people fail has something to do with the fact that virtually every other state requires ABA accreditation?

So ABA accreditation automatically means anybody whoever doesn't attend an ABA school is inferior and therefore cannot pass the California Bar Exam?
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Maintain FL 350

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #78 on: July 20, 2012, 12:19:45 PM »
Unaccredited schools have a much lower pass rate, but ABA pass rates are also much lower than other states.

For the February, 2012 bar:

ABA grads (including U.S. Attorneys): 3025 / 1547 passed
CBE grads: 538 / 141 passed
Unaccredited: 363 / 68 passed

Calbar's website breaks it down into specific categories, but those are the basics.


jonlevy

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Re: Northwestern California University, School of Law.
« Reply #79 on: July 20, 2012, 12:57:55 PM »
The non ABA grads are in an inferior position per se because they cannot forum shop for an easier bar to take.