Wednesday, 20 June 2007
ABA proposes change in bar exam passage determination
ABA has proposed new accreditation standards for the way law schools demonstrate that a sufficient portion of their graduates pass state bar exams. Under one option, a law school would have to show that in at least three of the most recent five years, in the jurisdiction in which the largest proportion of the school’s graduates take the bar exam for the first time, they pass the exam above, at or no more than 10 points below the first-time bar passage rates for graduates of ABA-approved law schools taking the bar examination in that jurisdiction. For schools from which more than 20 percent of graduates take their first bar examination in a jurisdiction other than the primary one, the schools also would be required to demonstrate that at least 70 percent of those students passed their bar examination over the two most recent bar exams. Law schools unable to satisfy the first alternative still could comply by demonstrating that 80 percent of all their graduates who take a bar examination anywhere in the country pass a bar examination within three sittings of the exam within three years of graduation. The proposed rules are now subject to a comment period.