Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: July 2013 Bar Exam Results  (Read 2228 times)

jonlevy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 548
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2014, 07:55:14 PM »
Among big bars, DC and California have the hardest bars, Illinois one of the easiest.  If someone passes the FYLSE exam they should get a ticket to the bar. Low pass rates by DL applicants may have to do with:

1.  Poor performance on the essay questions.
2.  lack of preparation time due to employment and other responsibilites.

If DL students were allowed to take some of the easier bars like South Dakota with a consistent 90% pass rate - we would see those pass rates at least double or tiple.

Maintain FL 350

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 656
    • View Profile
Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2014, 01:41:36 AM »
Low pass rates by DL applicants may have to do with:

1.  Poor performance on the essay questions.
2.  lack of preparation time due to employment and other responsibilites.

As far as the essay questions, why is that? Do most DL programs use the basic IRAC format, or are many DL students simply coming in to the program with less college level writing?

As far as employment, many ABA part time programs have employed/married, etc students, but still have decent pass rates. Do you think this is due to the more stringent admission criteria?

If DL students were allowed to take some of the easier bars like South Dakota with a consistent 90% pass rate - we would see those pass rates at least double or tiple.

I completely agree. If we required ALL law students to take the FYLSE, and allowed DL to take more than California's crazy bar, we'd see fewer ABA lawyers and more DL lawyers as a result.

CA Law Dean

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 100
  • Yes . . . law school is intentionally challenging.
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2014, 07:26:50 PM »
If I can jump back in here after being away from the discussion since last summer . . . IF the answer to why the California bar exam pass rate is so low was simple to figure out . . . trust me, our pass rate at Monterey College of Law would be 100%. First, remember that there are 21 ABA law schools, 17 California accredited law schools, and another 20 unaccredited and distance education law schools that feed applicants into the California bar exam. Compare that, for example, to 11 New York law schools, the next most populous state for law schools and other states that range to 1 school for Nevada and 0 for Alaska. This means that the applicant pool is dramatically different than for any other state . . . socio-economic, age, income, primary language, etc. Second, you need to realize that California deliberately scales the multi-state (MBE) scores so that a range of the raw scores that are passing in all 48 other states fail to make the cut in California. This "artificially" lowers the California overall pass rate and disproportionately affects non-traditional students, many of whom fall in the margin of difference. The three-day bar exam means that 2/3rds of the exam is timed essay and 1/3 multiple choice vs. 50-50 in most states. The exams are graded by lawyers who are 100% from traditional ABA schools and who were trained to answer law school exams in a homogenized environment that has changed little over the past 100 years. All in all, what it means is that the cumulative pass rates (not first-time and NOT Repeater - a nonsense number for this conversation) in California are far better comparisons for the state-by-state comparisons. Although the small cohorts of Monterey College of Law (one of the CALS) graduates could range from 0-80% first-time pass rates, the five-year cumulative pass rate of 66-68% is competitive in the context of the California scores.

Likewise, Concord Law School, the largest distance learning law school has about a 60% cumulative pass rate once you factor out their out-of-state and international students who have no interest in practicing in CA and rarely invest in the type of bar prep resources necessary to have a chance to pass in CA.

If you want to make your head hurt, here are the most recent 2012 statistics comparing national bar pass rates.

http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Bar-Examiner/articles/2013/8201132012statistics.pdf
Monterey College of Law
www.montereylaw.edu

jonlevy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 548
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2014, 09:08:44 AM »
Law Dean - thanks for the stats.  Note that DC has it right - more admissions by motion than anyone else by far.  Most states including California are violating the Commerce Clause by engaging in restraint of interstate trade by erecting barriers to practice and free movement.  Surely, one can expect a competent attorney with 5-10 years continuous experience to be able to seamlessly move between jurisdictions.  The differences in law between DC and California for example are minimal - at least DC thinks so and permits all California attorneys including non ABA to motion in after 5 years practice.  Even going to another commmon law country is not difficult for a seasoned lawyer who can read the rules and statutes.

Apparently the "public" needs protection from lawyers who  cannot read or comprehend statutes but then again what bar did they pass I wonder? 

Then there is the crazy quilt of federal district court jurisidictions - I can be a member of federal court bar for example in North Dakota but not Nevada - why?  Bar protectionism and restraint of trade.


cusc2011

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 36
    • View Profile
Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2014, 02:14:05 PM »
My good friend was notified yesterday that  they passed the Cali. They passed after their 2nd attempt.  They said the bar prep course was a waste of time for them, the biggest help was hiring a tutor.  My friend was a DL student.

NewlyMinted

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 236
    • View Profile
Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2014, 04:58:16 PM »
Among big bars, DC and California have the hardest bars, Illinois one of the easiest.  If someone passes the FYLSE exam they should get a ticket to the bar. Low pass rates by DL applicants may have to do with:

1.  Poor performance on the essay questions.
2.  lack of preparation time due to employment and other responsibilites.

If DL students were allowed to take some of the easier bars like South Dakota with a consistent 90% pass rate - we would see those pass rates at least double or tiple.
There is a lot of guessing in that. Perhaps SD has a higher pass rate BECAUSE they don't let them in?

jonlevy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 548
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2014, 08:58:21 PM »
Non ABA law students may have some effect on the cal bar pass rate but not enough to make a huge difference. California is acknowledged as a tough bar to pass.

NewlyMinted

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 236
    • View Profile
Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2014, 11:23:01 PM »
Non ABA law students may have some effect on the cal bar pass rate but not enough to make a huge difference. California is acknowledged as a tough bar to pass.
True, but that isn't what I was trying to get at. It was said that online grads would double their pass rate if in another state. My point is that I don't think that is true. I think that they'd still have a low pass rate. If you look at the stats in CA, they don't test even with ABA (even though its a tough test) they still have a much lower pass rate.

I think it has less to do with the online format of the school than the students themselves. I did a lot of CALI lessons and TWEN and other online lessons while in law school and a few pure online ones in undergrad. I think that if someone with a 4.0 undergrad and 171 LSAT went to Taft that they would have almost  the same odds of passing (if they took their studies seriously) but the average online grad does so due to not being able to get into ABA schools. 60 credits at 2.5 GPA and  a 140 LSAT is closer to the average for most. Being non trad students for the most part is a factor too. Even ABA grads who are non trad statistically do worse than trad students. (for a variety of reasons: work,family,etc) And they tend to have a lower bar pass rate on average for those same reasons.  Plus although there is no doubt some socratic method online I can't imagine its the same pressure as standing up in person being called on by the Prof in front of the class, for the correspondence offline ones I can't imagine anything even close to that. That pressure helps. As does the in person camaraderie that being facebook friends and on instant messages can't equal out to (heck even at the pub your studies accidently come up with classmates)

Remember too that often after a few years of practice other states let people petition to sit the exam in their state. Statistically non ABA do worse in those states too, as do those who "read for the law" in other states too.

Overall point being I don't think it mattes what state they sit it in, they would still have the same MBE. If you score a 129 MBE in CA you will score a 129 MBE in any other state too. The rest of it varies, that is uniform. If you can't get a 140 MBE you really shouldn't have gone to law school to begin with IMHO.

Maintain FL 350

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 656
    • View Profile
Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2014, 01:08:31 PM »
It's impossible to say exactly what DL bar pass rates would look like if more states allowed them to sit for the bar, but I think it is safe to say that they would increase.

These are pass rates from the July, 2013 CA bar:

Mich State   36%
Univ of Arizona  21%
Syracuse  25%
Suffolk  10%
Univ Nevada  29%

Each of these schools has a 70-90% pass rate in their home state. Clearly, the CA bar is tougher. It stands to reason that if DL students could sit for easier exams they would have a higher pass rate. That said, even if DL pass rates doubled they'd still be comparatively low.

Maintain FL 350

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 656
    • View Profile
Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2014, 01:24:25 PM »
There is a lot of guessing in that. Perhaps SD has a higher pass rate BECAUSE they don't let them in?

It's a common misconception that CA has low pass rates because of all the non-ABA takers. Here are the actual numbers:

                    July, 2013:  6635 first timers
                    95 from unaccredited schools, 337 from CA accredited schools

The pass rate is low because the exam is brutal, not because of DL/unaccredited takers. If every single non-ABA grad failed it would affect the rate by about 6%. The actual effect is probably 4%. What brings down CA's rates are the thousands of ABA grads who fail.