The Legal Beat
A Breakdown Of New York Bar Exam Results By Law School (July 2018)
Posted on Wednesday November 14, 2018
The results of the July 2018 administration of the New York bar exam were released on October 23. It was the state’s fifth time using the UBE, and deans at almost every New York law school now find themselves pleading the Fifth as to how their recent graduates performed.
Today, we’ve got a list of the pass rates for the July 2018 administration of the New York bar exam by law school. Which law schools’ pass rates climbed? And which schools sank like stones?
First, we’ll provide you with some background information. While 81 percent of all first-time takers from ABA-accredited law schools in New York passed the test, that’s a five percentage-point drop from last summer. Twelve New York law schools saw their pass rates take a tumble — and three of them took nosedives with double-digit declines. Only three law schools saw their pass rates go up since last July.
Two of the schools that managed to improve their pass rates were NYU (98.4 percent) and Columbia (98.3 percent). Cornell was the only T14 school that didn’t see its pass rate rise this past summer, but with 94.1 percent of graduates having passed the text, we, like Dean Eduardo M. Peñalver, are “not alarmed.” Congratulations also go out to Albany Law, which saw its pass rate increase a bit to 75.9 percent, fresh off an 11.4 percentage point decrease the year prior. We usually give special praise to the law school that’s seen the greatest improvement in its pass rate year over year, but given that we only had three law schools to choose from, we’d rather discuss the depths of despair to which some law schools’ pass rates sank.
Check out this table to see the passage rates for all New York law schools:
Susan DeSantis of the New York Law Journal has the details on the law schools whose pass rates went kerplunk this summer:
The graduates of the law schools with the highest rankings from U.S. News and World Report were way more likely to pass the bar exam than the graduates of lower-ranked schools.
Less than half of Touro Law Center graduates passed, prompting the dean to write a letter to alumni promising reforms. Touro’s pass rate was 16.2 percentage points lower than last year. At The City University of New York School of Law, the passing rate declined 13 percentage points. The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University saw a loss of 11.6 percentage points, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University dropped 8.4 percentage points and Syracuse University College of Law 8.2 percentage points.
The gap between the state’s worst-performing law school and its best-performing law school is now almost 50 percent, and students at the worst-performing schools have much more work to do to catch up with their colleagues. We hope the situation will improve, but a 34-year low on MBE scores isn’t exactly encouraging.
What are your thoughts on the bar passage rates for New York’s law schools? Feel free to get in touch with us via email or text message (646-820-8477) to brag about your law school or alma mater, talk trash, or offer dispassionate analysis.
Bar Exam Pass Rates Dive at 5 NY Schools While Top Programs Increase Their Advantage [New York Law Journal]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.