A steep decline in bar exam scores on the most recent test has led to an outbreak of finger-pointing over who’s to blame for the downward swing.
In a sharply worded letter, the dean of Brooklyn Law School on Monday reproached the head of a national bar exam group for suggesting to law school leaders that their graduates who took the July exam were less prepared than students who sat for the test in previous years.
The dean’s letter came in response to an October memo by Erica Moeser, the president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, addressed to law school deans across the country in which she defended the integrity of the group’s exam and raised concerns about the ability of the would-be lawyers who took it.
The NCBE is a national Wisconsin-based non-profit that prepares widely used standardized portions of the bar exam, including the Multistate Bar Examination, a multiple choice test that typically counts for half of a test-taker’s score.
All but three of the state’s 15 law schools have reported a decline in pass rates for first-time candidates who took the July bar exam, a result that has disappointed, puzzled and angered school officials.
The 3,740 first-time testtakers from New York’s law schools posted an 83 percent pass rate, down five points from last year.
See the Chart: July 2014 Bar Exam Pass Rates
The decline comes at a time when most schools have revamped their bar preparation programs, requiring more students than ever to enroll in test-taking skills courses and hosting free bar review weekends on campus.
In fact, they insisted the class of 2014 was better prepared for the test than any graduating class before it. Several expressed concerns that this year’s downward swing went well beyond expected year-to-year fluctuations.
Leaving aside other issues, the long run significance of Trinity Western law school is that it is a private law school that is seeking accreditation in each of the provinces. As a private law school, it needs consumers for its legal education. To attract consumers it must show that it’s law degree has economic value. To show that it has economic value it must show that its graduates can enter the “lawyer licensing programs” in the various provinces. Generally entry is conditional on having graduated from an “accredited law school”. Hence, Trinity Western is in the process of seeking accreditation in each of the provinces. The results of the accreditation applications so far include:
This is a somewhat interesting interview. This is a first year student in the first year of his combined law MBA degree. The benefit is that it gives you the “law student perspective”. This is interesting when compared to the perspective of Osgoode Hall Dean Sossin.
When: Saturday March 8/14 – 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Where: University of Toronto – St. Michael’s College – Carr Hall – 100 St. Joseph St. – Room 103
Pre-registration is not necessary. Feel free to just appear.
Free books included: Logic Games Workbook and one free actual LSAT
Get started for the June 9, 2014 LSAT
Your LSAT teacher will “make or break” your LSAT course experience. Attend a sample LSAT class. Begin your LSAT preparation in an effective and intelligent way. Leave with some introductory LSAT material.
Whence all this indignation about a Christian law school?
The fundamental argument seems to be that since TWU law graduates will be trained in an environment disapproving of homosexuality, they can be presumed to graduate as disapproving of homosexuality. They therefore must be incapable of serving as lawyers for homosexuals.
This argument is nonsense. Lawyers routinely represent clients who act in ways that not only diverge from their own values (as in, say, their choice of sexual partners) but actually appall their counsel: theft, drug pushing, fraud and murder. All of those lawyers graduated from law schools that can be presumed to frown on such behaviour. Yet lawyers are trusted to provide services to those who act in those ways.