Thursday, September 24, 2015

New York Times Article About Bar Exam Passage Rates

I read an interesting article this morning about bar exam passage rates. Definitely worth a read by any prospective bar exam taker or law student.

The answer is not an easy one. Both sides have salient points. And the "law-school-is-a-business" argument is nothing new or unique to law schools. Nonetheless, the ratio of law graduates to available law jobs is staggering, and I would like to see admissions offices taking more accountability. We're already suffocating the market. How much more can it take?

I have no data to back up my claim, but I doubt the addition of Civil Procedure to the MBE is why passage rates have dipped. The subject is already heavily tested on the state portion of almost every bar exam, so students aren't "adding" another subject to the list. However, one benefit of the addition is that it means fewer Contracts and Property questions on the MBE -- typically, the two hardest subjects on the MBE. Coupled with the relative straightforward ease that we've seen in these new Civil Procedure questions, I think the addition, if anything, can benefit students. 

Botton line is, even though I'm a bar tutor, I don't over-analyze the bar exam or the opinions of it. My goal is to get my students to pass whatever bar exam comes our way. Yes, the MBE is hard and heavily weighted on most bar exams. But because the environment is very controlled and repetitive, I think it's the easiest portion in which to make progress and gobble up points. Believe me: if you have the right strategy, the MBE can be your best friend.