July 2014 New York Bar Exam Pass Rates Come in at Record Low

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Summary: The results are out for the 2014 New York Bar Exam, and they have hit a record low. 12 of the 15 schools in New York had lowered bar pass rates this year.
 
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According to NY Bar Exam.com, the bar pass rate for the July 2014 New York bar exam was 83 percent. This pass rate is for applicants who were taking the test for the first time. The pass rate for all candidates, including repeat takers and foreign-educated takers, was 65 percent. Foreign-educated candidates comprised 3,052 of the test-takers, and their overall pass rate was 34 percent.

Whereas many may feel that a pass rate of 83 percent is excellent for such an exam, the number actually reflects a significant drop in the number of candidates who passed the bar exam-a 5 point decline.

According to the New York Law Journal, there are fifteen law schools in New York, and all except three saw declines in their bar pass rates. The pass rates were so shocking that the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) sent a letter to New York law school deans expressing their dismay at the results. Erica Moeser, the president of the NCBE, stated, "Beyond checking and rechecking our equating, we have looked at other indicators to challenge the results. All point to the fact that the group that sat in July 2014 was less able than the group that sat in July 2013."

Dean Nicholas Allard of the Brooklyn Law School sent a stern letter back to the NCBE, calling the letter "offensive." Brooklyn Law School suffered a 9.5-point increase, down from 94 percent to 84.5 percent. Allard noted that both the 2013 and the 2014 classes had median LSAT scores of 163.
 
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New York Law School, the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hoftsra University, and Pace University School of Law saw declines of more than 10 percentage points. New York Law School's 12-point drop was the largest drop in New York.

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