Around the Blawgosphere

Law prof creates 'experimental' calculator for bar exam-takers to predict whether they'll pass

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Will you pass the bar? At WITNESSETH, University of Pepperdine law professor Robert Anderson has posted an “experimental bar passage calculator” to help recent bar exam-takers calculate their odds.

“This bar examination calculator designed to predict the probability of passing a particular state bar examination based on LSAT, law school class rank, law school ranking, and bar examination state,” wrote Anderson, who earlier this year came out with a difficulty ranking of state bar exams. “This is an EXPERIMENTAL version of the calculator because it has not been validated against enough reliable, recent data.”

Anderson writes that he’s publicizing the calculator to solicit help from those who do have reliable recent data, such as law school administrators. He sees the value in a reliable tool such as this one.

“I suppose it’s considered bad manners to point out that the same student who would have a 30 percent chance of passing the California bar exam might have an 70 percent chance of passing the bar examination in another state,” Anderson wrote. “But given the delay, disappointment, and cost that failing the bar imposes on recent graduates, I think it’s important information students need to know.”

Get CLE credit for reading a blog …

… in Nevada, anyway. If you read the blog Compelling Discovery’s posts up to July 2013, pass a quiz based on those posts, fill out an exit survey for Nevada Board of Continuing Legal Education and pay $20, you will earn 0.5 general credits, writes Las Vegas lawyer Michael P. Lowry, author of the blog. If you fail the quiz, it costs you nothing, Lowry writes, and there will be a new quiz roughly each month.

Laura Bogden, assistant executive director of the Nevada Board of CLE says that this program has been approved on a six-month trial basis “to see how it goes.”

The stated mission of Lowry’s blog is to cover discovery issues in Nevada. “Unfortunately, the three Discovery Commissioners (two in Las Vegas, one in Reno) who hear the vast majority of discovery disputes in Nevada’s largest court systems cannot publish their decisions,” Lowry wrote on his blog’s “about” page. “The Supreme Court of Nevada is perpetually swamped and is rarely given the chance to issue cases on discovery issues. This all leads to a great deal of uncertainty and frustration at times as to how the discovery process is to be conducted. The purpose of this blog is to help talk about issues many lawyers confront on a daily basis in the hope that uncertainty and frustration can be limited.”

Have your art, thoughts posted online

You, too, can have your work appear in the legal blogosphere this month. Two bloggers are currently promoting contests of sorts.

First, New York City criminal defense attorney, blogger and author Nathaniel Burney is accepting entries through 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 18 for a fan art contest for his Illustrated Guide to Law webcomic. However, Burney notes that if he receives fewer than 10 entries by that deadline, he may extend it.

“By definition, it has to include a character or scenario from the webcomic,” Burney wrote at his Illustrated Guide to Law tumblr. “But apart from that, it’s really up to you what you want to draw (or sculpt, or film… any kind of art is great).” First prize is a $100 Amazon gift card, but all submissions will be posted at

And Philadelphia lawyer Kelly Phillips Erb is accepting Taxgirl guest post submissions for publication the week of Aug. 26. She’s hoping for pieces between 300 and 600 words. Her deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 19. She asks that blogging hopefuls answer one of three tax-related questions:

• Will allowing the health care act to remain in place as written benefit or harm you as a taxpayer?
• There have been lots of calls this year to cut or reduce IRS funding. Is that fair? Why or why not?
• One of the most controversial issues over the past year has been the issue of corporate tax reform. Do corporations pay their fair share? What, if anything, would you do to alter the current corporate tax structure?

“I hope to include a number of posts that represent a mix of viewpoints on each of the three issues,” Erb wrote. “That means it’s to your advantage to write a thoughtful piece and to get it to me relatively early. All of that said, you don’t have to be a tax expert to submit a post. The call is for everyone—not just journos and tax geeks. It doesn’t have to be scholarly or technical—sometimes, the best posts are just those written from the heart. So let me know what you think—and you just might end up on the blog.”

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