Council Approves New Bar Passage Standard

October 21st, 2016 / By

The Council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has approved a hotly debated proposal to tighten the accreditation standard governing bar passage rates. When the new standard takes effect, schools will have to demonstrate that seventy-five percent of graduates who choose to take a bar exam pass that exam within two years.

Opponents of the standard argued that it might reduce racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession. Council members, however, largely rejected that argument. Raymond Pierce, former dean of the North Carolina Central University School of Law, distinguished between programs that give students “an opportunity” and those offering “a false chance.”

For more, see this story.

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  • Scott_Fruehwald

    This is an important step in protecting law students and the integrity of legal education. Once the House of Delegates approves the proposal, the next step is for law schools to devote more resources to teaching. All first-year classes should include frequent formative assessment with detailed feedback. Law schools should help students develop their metacognitive skills, including how to create a growth mindset. In general, all three years of law school must involve active learning.

    There is a lot of research on how to better educate students. Law professors need to read it and use it. How to Help Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds Succeed in Law School,
    1 Texas A & M Law Review 83 (2013).

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