Bar Exams, California, Law Schools

California Bar Exam Results By Law School: Open Thread (July 2013)

Results from the July 2013 administration of the California bar exam were released on November 22, 2013. Ever since, people have been wondering about the pass rates by law school.

The only information we’ve had until now has been the overall pass rate of 55.8 percent (up a whopping five-tenths of a point from July 2012’s results). We also knew about the overall pass rates for first-time takers who attended ABA-accredited law schools, both in-state (75.9 percent) and out-of-state (64.2 percent).

Fast forward two months, and now we know all of the individual California bar exam pass rates for law schools nationwide.

Last year, we praised Stanford for its top performance. Which law school took home the glory this time?

Congratulations once again go out to Stanford Law School, which posted a 91 percent pass rate (down from its 2012 pass rate of 93.7 percent). The school has now had back-to-back wins for top bar exam performance following its poor showing in 2011 (an 88.9 percent pass rate — which was just so-so).

But what about the “real” second-best law school in the nation? Of course, we’re talking about Cooley Law. We’ll get to that hot mess later when we talk about out-of-state pass rates. For now, here’s a chart of the July 2013 bar performances for all 21 ABA-accredited California law schools (gavel bang: TaxProf Blog):

Umm, UC Irvine, we need to talk. The school went from a pass rate of 90.2 percent in 2012 — second place for the entire state — to a 77.5 percent pass rate. Maybe this is the difference between people who got to go to law school for free and people who got half scholarships. Better shape up, Class of 2014.

Yet again, the much-maligned Thomas Jefferson School of Law came in dead last in terms of performance on the California bar exam, and the school did even worse in 2013 than it did in 2012. About half (50.3 percent) of the school’s first-time takers passed. Hmm, we hope the school didn’t lay off its special bar prep course instructor. Sad, but we guess anything over a 33.3 percent pass rate is a good thing for TJSL.

Here are some brief notes as to the rest of the pass rates for California’s law schools (accredited or not):

  • Three cheers for La Verne! Of the six law schools that saw increases in their pass rates, this rank-not-published law school popped with a 14.4 point raise. Congrats on being that much closer to not completely bombing the exam. Other schools deserving of praise for improvement (measured by an increase greater than five points) include Southwestern, Loyola, and UC Davis.
  • Out of the 15 law schools that saw decreases in their bar passage rates, Golden Gate bore the brunt of the shame with a 13.3 point drop (an accolade narrowly avoided by UC Irvine). Harsh.

Enough about California’s law schools. Let’s chat about out-of-state schools and their pass rates for the July 2013 administration of the California bar exam. Here are the five schools with the highest pass rates:

  • 95.9%: Harvard (98 test-takers)
  • 95.7%: NYU (47 test-takers)
  • 94.7%: Cornell (19 test-takers)
  • 94.1%: Boston University (17 test-takers)
  • 93.3%: Yale (30 test-takers)

Harvard beats Yale. HARVARD BEATS YALE! Here are the law schools with the lowest pass rates:

  • 22.2%: Indiana-Indianapolis (9 test-takers), Loyola-Chicago (9 test-takers), UNLV (9 test-takers)
  • 21.4%: Arizona (14 test-takers)
  • 21.0%: Phoenix (19 test-takers)
  • 12.5%: Thomas Cooley (16 test-takers)
  • 10.0%: Florida Coastal (10 test-takers), Suffolk (10 test-takers)

Mark your record books: in California in 2013, Cooley Law was the second-best… at not being the worst.

What are your thoughts on the bar passage rates for California’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.

General Statistics Report – July 2013 California Bar Examination [State Bar of California]
July 2013 California Bar Exam Results [TaxProf Blog]

Earlier: California Bar Exam Results By Law School: Open Thread
California Bar Passage Rate Holds Steady; Shame For Underperforming Schools Deepens
2010 California Bar Exam Results By Law School: Open Thread

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