O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! On Friday, California bar exam results came out (and 55.8% of applicants passed, with a pass rate of 68% for first-time takers, meaning that just one stat is up (barely) from last year’s results). And today, we’ve finally got a list of the passage rates for the July 2013 administration of the New York bar exam by law school.

In 2012, more than half of the state’s law schools saw their pass rates take a tumble. In 2013, more than half of the state’s law schools were able to improve their pass rates, and in some cases, by epic proportions. The state’s overall pass rate for first-time takers jumped by two percentage points.

So which law schools’ pass rates climbed, and by how much? And which school sank like a stone?

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 78% for first-time takers and 88% for graduates of New York’s 15 law schools. Compare this to the July 2012 administration of the exam, where the overall pass rates were 76% for first-time takers and 85% for graduates of New York’s 15 law schools.

This year, first-time takers experienced smooth sailing when it came to what’s often touted as one of the toughest bar exams in the country. The New York school-by-school breakdown of the July 2013 results evidences the easy break recent graduates managed to catch this past summer. Here’s a chart compiled by the New York Law Journal that details the first-time takers’ pass rates:

NYU beat Columbia. Brooklyn beat Fordham to tie Cornell. How do you like them apples? Some notes:

  • Excellent work by New York Law School! After a double-digit drop in 2012, the school came back fighting in 2013 with a 13 percentage point increase. We give props to Dean Anthony Crowell, because it looks like offering students a $500 bribe to help themselves worked out really well.
  • With nearly a nine percentage point increase, Brooklyn Law posted a 94 percent pass rate, a new record for the school. The school is now tied with a T14. Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta.
  • Go home, Touro. You’re drunk. This is the third year in a row that the school’s pass rate for first-time takers has dropped precipitously. Dean Patricia Salkin is “concerned and disappointed” — just like the Touro students who paid more than $100,000 to fail the bar exam. Ouch.

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.

Most N.Y. Law Schools Report Higher Pass Rates in Bar Exam [New York Law Journal]

Earlier: New York Bar Exam Results By Law School: Open Thread (2012)


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