Merger Rejected For Law School in Indiana

Boston University Law

This State Just Hit A Historical Low for Bar Passage

Massachusetts just saw its highest bar exam failure rate in nearly a century.
Roughly one in three law grads failed the Massachusetts bar exam this summer, Boston Business Journal reports.
A Look At The Numbers
Only 69.2% of test-takers passed July’s bar exam according to the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners on Monday
The Boston Business Journal reports this is even worse than the previous low point in July 2016, when the bar exam passage rate was 70.9%.
This year’s numbers were the lowest in the past century. But that doesn’t mean all schools scored poorly.
Not surprisingly, Harvard Law grads flourished, posting a 98.6% passage rate overall on the Massachusetts bar…though a shade off their 100% rate last July.
Among the higher-tier law schools, Boston University and Northeastern University both performed well, with test-takers improving their overall passage rates. Notably, first-time test-takers from BU Law managed a 93.7% passage rate.
Coming in third was UMass School Law, with a passage rate of 92.6% for first-time test takers. That’s big news considering the law school just received full American Bar Association accreditation less than two years ago, according to South Coast Today.
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“These bar exam results are a reflection of the deep talent and genuine commitment of the law school’s faculty and staff,” UMass Law Dean Eric Mitnick says in a statement. “Ultimately, though, it is the students who put in the long hours preparing for and then sitting for the exam.
Among the low performers? Massachusetts School of Law in Andover. According to Boston Business Journal, only 21.8% of MSLAW grads passed this July’s bar exam. That number has dropped from 25% in 2001.
Why Are Passage Rates Dropping Overall?
Many experts agree that low bar passage rates may be attributed to law schools admitting less qualified students.
With fewer people than ever applying to law schools, many universities have lowered their admission standards.
“Law schools are accepting applications that wouldn’t have been accepted in years past,” Martin Healy, chief operating officer and chief legal counsel at the Massachusetts Bar Association and a former member of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners, tells Boston Business Journal.
That can primarily be seen in LSAT scores for incoming classes. Some schools have seen a significant drop in LSAT scores for the worst-performing quartile of students over the past six years.
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Source: National Conference of Bar Examiners]
According to Boston Business Journal, New England Law Boston and Western New England University both had scores drop 5 points for the 25th percentile of incoming students. Suffolk University had a 6-point drop.
“If you cast a wider net, you create greater risk (regarding those) students who are coming in essentially at the bottom of the class,” Erica Moeser, NCBE’s president and CEO, tells Boston Business Journal.
Sources: Boston Business Journal, South Coast Today, US News, Boston Business Journal