Bar Passage Rates Improve

2019 is looking like a good year for aspiring lawyers.

80% of grads at ABA-accredited law schools passed the bar exam on their first try, according to newly-released numbers from the ABA.

That’s an improvement from 2018, when only 75% passed on their first try. And, according to, it’s the first major gain in half a decade.


Prestigious law schools, such as Harvard, Duke, and the University of Pennsylvania, all came out on top in terms of bar passage rate—each school had a passage rate of over 97%.

On the lower end of the spectrum, law schools such as Western Michigan University’s Cooley Law School only had a passage rate of 36%.


Back in May 2019, the ABA announced that at least 75% of a law school’s grads would need to pass the bar exam within two years of graduation—a change to the previous five-year requirement.

However, ABA officials have noted that the new data is not a “compliance report” for the new standard.

“The public reports do provide important consumer information for students considering whether and where to attend law school and for others with an interest in legal education,”

Barry Currier, the section’s managing director of accreditation and legal education, says in the ABA news release.

Check out the top 20 schools with the highest bar passage rates from 2019 below.

Sources: American Bar

Comments or questions about this article? Email us.