Friday, July 06, 2007

New Bar Passage Standards

Link to the article at in the title above to read a story about the ABA tightening bar passage standards under pressure from the Dept. of Education. Many law deans oppose to the new standards. Schools being accredited must...

meet one of two criteria. Under the first, they would need to show that in at least three of the most recent five years, first-time test takers passed at no more than 10 points below the first-time bar passage rates for graduates of other accredited law schools taking the bar in the same jurisdiction.

Also under the first criterion, schools in which more than 20% of their graduates take the bar exam for the first time in other jurisdictions would need to demonstrate that at least 70% of their first-time test takers passed during the two most recent bar-exam periods.

As an alternative to the first criterion, schools would need to demonstrate that 80% of their graduates who took the exam anywhere in the country passed within three attempts, within three years of graduation. ...

The ABA's attempt to revise the standard is part of its bid to the Department of Education to remain as the accrediting body for law schools. Last month, the Department of Education extended the ABA's power to continue accrediting for only 18 months, instead of a five-year term that it received in the past.

The two organizations have butted heads, in part, because of the disagreement over the ABA's diversity rule — Standard 212 — which the ABA revised at its annual conference last summer. The standard requires law schools to demonstrate by "concrete action" that they are admitting minority students. Opponents assert that the requirement is unlawful.
The ABA House of Delegates will vote on the new standards at the ABA annual meeting this August.

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