Unlike when the New York bar exam results were released in early November, we’re not experiencing a hurricane-induced blackout. But today, some people might wish that they were experiencing a different kind of hurricane-induced blackout (one that involves alcohol, not nature), because we’ve finally got a list of the passage rates for the July 2012 administration of the New York bar exam by law school.
Last year, more than half of the state’s law schools were able to improve their pass rates over the prior year’s results. This year, more than half of the state’s law schools saw a decline in their pass rates, and in some cases, epically so. The state’s pass rate for first-time takers dropped a whole percentage point, due in part to the law schools’ reversal in fortune.
So which law schools’ pass rates tumbled, and by how much?
Before we get to specific schools, let’s look at the overall picture. According to the statistics released by the New York Board of Law Examiners, the overall pass rates were 76% for first-time takers and 85% for graduates of New York’s 15 law schools. Compare this to the July 2011 administration of the exam, where the overall pass rates were 78% for first-time takers and 86% for graduates of New York’s 15 law schools.
It seems that, on the whole, first-time takers experienced some trouble with this summer’s exam. But the New York school-by-school breakdown of the July 2012 results is where the real trouble begins. Here’s a chart compiled by the New York Law Journal that details the first-time takers’ pass rates:
Funny that the first-time takers’ pass rates from New York’s law schools virtually tracks the U.S. News law school rankings, at least until we get to the state average. After that, things get a little messy. Some brief notes:
- Excellent work by CUNY Law! The school managed to raise its pass rate by 16.5 points. But then again, the school was allegedly paying some of its students not to take the test, so we’re not really sure how these great gains were achieved. Either way, it’s still pretty impressive.
- Of the eight New York law schools that saw decreases in their bar pass rates, one was in the T14, five were in the U.S. News Top 100, and two were at the bottom of the renowned rankings.
- NYLS had a double-digit dip in its pass rate, and Touro had a nine-point drop. Yikes!
What are your thoughts on the bar passage rates for New York’s law schools? Feel free to discuss — to brag about your law school or alma mater, talk trash, or offer dispassionate analysis — in the comments.
Eight Law Schools Post Lower Bar Pass Rates [New York Law Journal]