Bar Exam

We know how much our readers love rankings, so as we mentioned in Morning Docket, the National Jurist has released the fifth annual list of the 60 Best Value law schools in its preLaw magazine. As it stands, the list remains unranked, but the final grades for the honor roll are expected in October.

The Best Value ranking typically takes into account the following criteria: in-state tuition, average student debt, the percentage of graduates employed nine months after graduation, and bar passage rates.

But this year, the National Jurist made some adjustments to its rankings methodology to account for “fairness.” It now takes into account averages for bar passage rates and post-graduation employment over the past two years. And even if a law school didn’t meet one of these important standards, the school wasn’t automatically excluded from consideration. Everyone gets a trophy in this year’s Best Value rankings.

You may be surprised at some of the law schools that made this year’s Best Value honor roll. Check and see if your school made the list, after the jump….

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LeRoy Pernell

When the statistics tell you that virtually every black college will be in noncompliance, it’s a matter of grave concern.

LeRoy Pernell, dean of Florida A&M University College of Law, commenting on the possibility of a more stringent ABA bar passage requirement for law schools.

(At present, to remain in good standing with the ABA, at least 75 percent of a law school’s graduates taking the bar in the school’s state must pass for at least three of the past five years. The new ABA proposal calls for an 80 percent bar passage rate or a rate no more than 10 percentage points lower than other law schools in the state.)

Stephen McDaniel

We realize some of you are getting Stephen McDaniel fatigue. We apologize if that’s the case, but CHECK YOU CALENDAR: it’s August.

Aside from the stock market craziness that could signal a second recession, and perhaps the London riots, we are in a slow news period. And the story of Stephen Mark McDaniel, the 25-year-old Mercer Law School graduate accused of killing a comely classmate, Lauren Giddings, is just about the most interesting story out there.

If you’re not interested in this story, nobody is forcing you to read our coverage (which we tend to put up after regular business hours anyway). But if you are as interested in this fascinating case as we are — and our traffic stats suggest that you are very, very interested — then read on for the latest developments….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “More on Stephen McDaniel: A Missing Bar Prep Session, and Possible Fiber Evidence”


If you took the bar exam last month, you might be trying hard to forget the experience, or you might be flying far, far away on an exotic vacation. Maybe you are counting the days until results come out in November, or maybe you’re frantically searching for employment before those organ bill collectors start knocking.

This is the final installment of the Bar Review Diaries. We hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into the lives of three recent law school graduates as they prepared for the bar.

Let’s check in one last time with Mariah, Christopher and Mike, to see where they are headed next.

And if anyone has cool bar trips coming up or strange end-of-summer plans, please share them with us in the comments….

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The bar exam has come and gone. Our esteemed Bar Review Diarists have lived to tell the tale, and thank goodness none of them fainted or had a baby during the test.

But as usual, Mike, Mariah and Christopher also had their fair share of adventures. Keep reading to see how a soggy sweater and lines to nowhere are just normal parts of taking the bar…

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'These MBE questions are way easier than the practice ones!'

We thought we had a winner for most gutsy bar exam performance of July 2011. On Thursday, a woman taking the New Jersey bar exam passed out during the test — then picked herself up off the floor, and went right back to typing.

That’s impressive — but we may have spoken too soon. Here’s a labor-intensive story that tops it.

“A friend of mine went into labor while taking the Illinois bar exam,” a tipster told us. “She calmly finished, went to the hospital, and had her baby an hour or two later. Girl’s a real trooper.”

“A certain Northwestern Law alumna went into labor during the second day of the Illinois bar,” said a second source. “She finished the exam and had her baby, her first, at 5:58 p.m. I think that is worth noting.”

You better believe it’s worth noting. If ever there was a baby immaculately conceived by a lawgiver, this might be the one.

We have all the details — including a picture of the Bar Exam Baby, whom we’ll nickname “Baby Bar”….

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The bar exam is over. Congratulations, test takers. Many of you will never have to worry about this again. You’ll wake up one day in the fall, you’ll open up the internet, and you’ll enjoy the relief of having passed.

And if you didn’t pass, well, you’ll cross that bridge when you get to it. Just so you know, there is life beyond bar failure: check out this list of bar exam famous failures, who went on to have amazing careers in law or politics.

Whether or not you passed or failed, whether or not you experienced any of the bar exam horror stories we’ve shared with you over the past couple of days, you will not have a story as cool as this New Jersey test taker.

At the Meadowlands test center, an exam tester pulled off what I guess you’d figuratively call a bar exam boot-and-rally….

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If you are finishing up the bar exam today… are you reading this on your lunch break? What the hell is wrong with you? Focus!

If you finished the bar exam yesterday, congratulations. Time to relax and have some fun, if you have a job lined up for the fall. If you don’t have a job lined up, well, umm, lemme tell you these funny stories about other crazy things that happened during the administration of the July 2011 bar exam!

It seems that today in New Jersey — where Governor Chris Christie has just been hospitalized, by the way — they forgot to turn on the power at one testing site….

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Here’s an open thread for discussing the July 2011 bar exam. We hope you attack it with all the gusto of Los Angeles lawyers at a deposition.

If you’ve just finished the bar exam, congratulations. We hope you’re taking a well-deserved vacation, perhaps involving some exotic travel (e.g., the traditional bar trip).

If you’re still in the middle of the big test, good luck. At least you’re done with the MBE, which some believe to be the hardest part of the bar.

Some of you may need all the luck you can get. This morning we told you about bar exam mishaps from this week. Unfortunately, since then we’ve heard about even more bar-related problems.

Let’s hear about the latest difficulties from around the country — and give you a place to talk about the test….

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A slew of bar exams started yesterday, and the rest got underway today. And yet we already have stories about “crazy things” happening during the administration of the tests.

When things go wrong during the bar exam, most people will overcome the adversity and still pass the test. But those who end up failing the bar will remember these events forever.

So let’s take a brief stroll around the bar exams to look at the stories some test takers will be telling from now until February…

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