The Legal Beat
Yikes! This State Just Posted One Of Its Worst Bar Exam Pass Rates
Posted on Friday October 13, 2017
When bar exam results season and Halloween season merge, the outcome can be absolutely terrifying. Be prepared for a real scare, because the results from this state’s July 2017 administration of the bar exam were truly frightening.
Today is Friday the 13th, and would-be lawyers in the Southwest have been subjected to unimaginable horrors as they awaited the release of the results from the Arizona bar exam. Be prepared for a scare, because Arizona followed suit, and the results of the state’s exam were truly frightening.
According to a press release from the Supreme Court of Arizona’s Committee on Examinations, the overall pass rate for the July 2017 exam was 57 percent. For the sake of comparison, let’s take a look at the results for the past three summer administrations of the Arizona bar exam. In July 2016, the overall pass rate was 53 percent. In July 2015, the overall pass rate was 56.6 percent. In July 2014, the overall pass rate was 68.3 percent. Last summer’s pass rate was the worst Arizona had seen in more than 10 years, and possibly even longer (the state’s website goes back only to the year 2005). This year’s summer pass rate is now the third-worst the state has seen in that time period, by just fractions of a percentage point. Congratulations? Yay?
Although Arizona has yet to release the school-by-school breakdown of its July 2017 passage rates, given graduates’ incredibly poor performance generally, that didn’t stop our readers from speculating as to the cause of this summer’s subpar results:
* “Arizona FUCKING Summit. Won’t somebody close this goddamn school?”
* “Get rid of that shithole AZ Summit. It’s a stain on legal education in this state.”
* “If Summit stopped dumpster diving for law students, I bet the pass rates on the Arizona exam wouldn’t stink so bad.”
It would be incredibly embarrassing if Arizona Summit Law School’s graduates were behind the state’s third-worst bar-passage rate — as they were for the past few administrations of the exam, in both the summer and winter — but we unfortunately don’t have the information to support that hypothesis quite yet. The state’s school-by-school pass rates should be available soon, and we’ll have a detailed analysis.
Congratulations to everyone who passed the Arizona bar exam. A little more than half your peers passed this summer, so this is a very special accomplishment.
Staci Zaretsky has been an editor at Above the Law 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.