It’s no secret that bar passage rates have fallen across the country. According to the ABA Journal, February 2017’s exam fell by another point, from 135 to 134.1, and this rate is the lowest since 1972. Leading up to the drop, rates were already on the decline, and Erica Moeser, president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), said that the reason for this could be because of law school admissions. While careful to not blame law schools for lowering standards, she said that we’re seeing “different enrollment patterns,” which include admitting students with test scores that were lower than in the past. Some law schools have spun this change as an increase in diversity; and to help students with low LSAT scores, some schools have aggressively worked to help these individuals pass classes and the bar exam.
But obviously, not all law schools have been successful in helping their graduates pass the bar, and these schools have been met with backlash from students and punishment from the American Bar Association (ABA), which offers accreditation. In the summer of 2017, Charlotte School of Law, a law school with a notoriously law bar passage rate, was shut down by its state; and it and others like it provide some insight into the low bar passage rate debate.
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