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These Schools Exceed Expectations for Bar Pass Rates

Posted Feb 21, 2012 7:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Most law schools have bar exam pass rates that correlate to their students’ scores on the Law School Admission Test.

But some outperform expectations. The National Jurist (reg. req.) developed a mathematical model to determine which schools most exceeded expectations for bar pass rates in 2009 and 2010, compared to statewide averages. The top 10 law schools on the list were:

1) Louisiana State University

2) Campbell University

3) Stanford University

4) Wake Forest University

5) University of California at Berkeley

6) University of Southern California

8) North Carolina Central University

8) Widener University (Pennsylvania)

9) University of Washington

10) Nova Southeastern University

Some of the schools at the top had advantages, the National Jurist says. Louisiana has a unique bar exam based on civil code, making it easier for in-state graduates to pass the exam. State law predominates on North Carolina’s bar exam as well, giving an edge to schools in that state. Stanford and other top schools in California do well because so many people take the bar exam there, bringing down the average.

Still, some schools are particularly adept at preparing their students for the bar. Campbell, for example, has lower average LSAT scores than the University of North Carolina, yet Campbell students do better on the bar exam, the story says. Campbell offers classes to help potential students prepare for law school before they begin classes, and it also focuses on bar exam preparation. Beginning in 2010, the school began offering a free bar exam class to help students with essay writing. Out of 108 students who took the class, 106 passed the bar.

Hat tip to TaxProf Blog.

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