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US Law School Ultimate Bar Pass Rate

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If people are thinking of going to the States (or doing the dual degree at Windsor) they would do well to read this article and look at the accompanying excel spreadsheet on the percentage of graduates from  the various schools that pass the bar exam within two years of graduation.  It is.... eye-opening:  https://abovethelaw.com/2018/04/the-law-schools-with-the-worst-ultimate-bar-pass-rates/

Note, these numbers overstate the actual success of students from some of these schools, since they look only at those students who took the bar exam - not those who didn't take it or for whom no information is available.  If you're a Harvard grad and you didn't write the bar, it's probably because you're an investment banker somewhere too busy rolling in money or some UN muckety-muck, squandering someone else's money. If you're a graduate of Detroit Mercy, not so much.

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So is this because the bar for admission to these schools is so low that worse test-takers can graduate, or is it that they don't adequately prepare one to write the bar exam?

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5 minutes ago, chaboywb said:

So is this because the bar for admission to these schools is so low that worse test-takers can graduate, or is it that they don't adequately prepare one to write the bar exam?

1) The bar for admission is non-existent , they'll take 140 LSATs and low GPAs as long as you can pay, and the students do not have the intellectual ability to pass the bar.

2) Because of the low quality of student, the teaching is not of high quality either because the students can't function on the same level as smarter students. And the best profs don't want to work in those schools.

3) The bar exam is intended as a weeding-out tool in many states and is actually hard. 

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I sometimes I wonder how anyone could rationally conclude that the benefits of going to a T3/4 school outweigh the total cost.

Then I remember that the students who do have a demonstrated lack of logical and and analytical reasoning ability. It’s borderline predatory.

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8 hours ago, MinesAndMinerals said:

I sometimes I wonder how anyone could rationally conclude that the benefits of going to a T3/4 school outweigh the total cost.

Then I remember that the students who do have a demonstrated lack of logical and and analytical reasoning ability. It’s borderline predatory.

In some ways its worse - it doesn't track drop outs (although the ABA does publish that data as well). 

But then I tell myself, look, all this information is available online, they're marketing to adults who are university graduates - not the best university graduates, to be sure, but not complete drooling idjiots either - they're offering a product people want, namely a real chance to be a lawyer (in contrast to some of the non-aba approved schools in California whose bar pass rates are well less than 50%).  If otherwise competent adults choose to invest $200k in such an education, hey, who am I to say they can't (they probably shouldn't, but that's not my call).

 One of the things that makes Americans great is their unbounded (sometimes unreasoned) optimism, no doubt the students who go to these schools all believe that they will be the ones who succeed. (Heck, Canadians aren't immune, we see it here, how often do we see people lament the unfairness of being denied admissions because of their awful LSAT score when they KNOW they'll be a great lawyer - that that might be a cautionary note that maybe law isn't for them never enters the equation). 

The one caveat to that is, to the extent those educations are funded by taxpayer backed loans, the US government should be asking the question of whether they should be lending to those students - it would be interesting to see student loan default rates by school (I'm sure the G has it, whether they publish it or not I don't know). If people want to chase their dreams, that's one thing, if they're being backstopped by the US government, that's something very different. 

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14 hours ago, providence said:

1) The bar for admission is non-existent , they'll take 140 LSATs and low GPAs as long as you can pay, and the students do not have the intellectual ability to pass the bar.

2) Because of the low quality of student, the teaching is not of high quality either because the students can't function on the same level as smarter students. And the best profs don't want to work in those schools.

3) The bar exam is intended as a weeding-out tool in many states and is actually hard. 

It is telling that, even some graduates from the top US schools fail to pass the bar exam within 2 years. 

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One of my guilty pleasures is reading John Grisham. He just published a book this year on students in the bottom feeder schools, "The Rooster Bar". Honestly it wasn't that great. I mean, it was no Rainmaker or Pelican Brief. But it was informative as far as crippling debt and no prospect of employment go.

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, FunnyLawName said:

One of my guilty pleasures is reading John Grisham. He just published a book this year on students in the bottom feeder schools, "The Rooster Bar". Honestly it wasn't that great. I mean, it was no Rainmaker or Pelican Brief. But it was informative as far as crippling debt and no prospect of employment go.

There was a story in abovethelaw last week about a graduate of some low-end Florida school facing charges for stealing from her job as a cashier to pay her law school student loans.  Which was profoundly depressing.

Here it is: https://abovethelaw.com/2018/04/lawyer-disciplined-for-stealing-from-her-job-working-retail-in-tragic-commentary-on-the-law-school-con-game/

Edited by maximumbob

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17 hours ago, FunnyLawName said:

One of my guilty pleasures is reading John Grisham. He just published a book this year on students in the bottom feeder schools, "The Rooster Bar". Honestly it wasn't that great. I mean, it was no Rainmaker or Pelican Brief. But it was informative as far as crippling debt and no prospect of employment go.

My in laws gave me that for Christmas for some reason!

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I read that Michael “cheap deck of cards” Cohen went to Cooley today and I stared poking around the ABA website. They have a 25-75th percentile accepted student LSAT range of 139-146. A 139 is an 11th percentile score..

I was feeling sick to my stomach already but it got worse. Over the last few years, only around 55-60% of graduates passed the bar on their first attempt. 20% of the ‘16 class were unemployed ten months after graduation (compared to a ~4% national unemployment rate). 

All for the everyday low price of US$48,000 a year. 

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5 hours ago, MinesAndMinerals said:

I read that Michael “cheap deck of cards” Cohen went to Cooley today and I stared poking around the ABA website. They have a 25-75th percentile accepted student LSAT range of 139-146. A 139 is an 11th percentile score..

I was feeling sick to my stomach already but it got worse. Over the last few years, only around 55-60% of graduates passed the bar on their first attempt. 20% of the ‘16 class were unemployed ten months after graduation (compared to a ~4% national unemployment rate). 

All for the everyday low price of US$48,000 a year. 

And of the 80% who are employed, most aren't employed as lawyers.  

Yes, Cooley is infamous, though hardly the worst of the bunch (which is telling). 

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23 hours ago, FunnyLawName said:

One of my guilty pleasures is reading John Grisham. He just published a book this year on students in the bottom feeder schools, "The Rooster Bar". Honestly it wasn't that great. I mean, it was no Rainmaker or Pelican Brief. But it was informative as far as crippling debt and no prospect of employment go.

I've made this argument before so I'll be relatively brief.

I don't see it as a problem particular to lawyers nor bottom feeder schools, it's more general than that starting with employers using college degrees as a proxy for intelligence etc. (because if they test job applicants themselves they risk litigation etc., requiring a degree they're good - this is not legal advice especially not in any US jurisdiction!). Student loans which aren't dischargeable in bankruptcy and which will basically match whatever the tuition is for any program (not just law) and highly misleading marketing (again, not just for law) create problems. Schools (again, not just law) can charge more and more and students will pay more and more because that becomes the going rate and lenders will still provide the money. If lenders (governmental or private, even the school itself if it provides loans not just grants) had to worry that they'd only get their money back if the students they funded earned enough to pay them back, that might help correct the problem. In fairness, it might overcorrect the problem and lead to more people from disadvantaged backgrounds unfairly (in the sense of intelligence and ability to succeed) being denied admission and/or funding, there's no easy or straightforward fix.

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11 hours ago, providence said:

My in laws gave me that for Christmas for some reason!

It's... fine. The characters just make so many self-interested and irrational decisions. But I guess that's the point. They aren't supposed to be bright.

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23 hours ago, FunnyLawName said:

It's... fine. The characters just make so many self-interested and irrational decisions. But I guess that's the point. They aren't supposed to be bright.

Given this discussion, I'll post here rather than another thread, I liked the way CUNY students were referred to in this discussion of hecklers against a speaker they disliked:

"Of all the people to protest, it was Josh Blackman. Of all the law schools, it was CUNY. It’s not Harvard, where the elite students can afford their childish indulgences before they set off on the great adventure of Biglaw bonuses. You see, CUNY has branded itself a “public interest” law school, which is the nice way of saying they aren’t the best and brightest, and won’t have jobs when they graduate. The slogan, “students who couldn’t get admitted anywhere else” isn’t a great marketing tool.

This isn’t to say that the lawyers they produce won’t be good lawyers, even excellent lawyers. It doesn’t take genius to be a good lawyer, but hard work and dedication. There is absolutely no reason why CUNY law students couldn’t excel. But for themselves...." [emphasis added]

https://blog.simplejustice.us/2018/04/13/josh-blackman-and-the-guy-who-wanted-to-hear/

He was speaking about the importance of free speech on campus.

From what I've read elsewhere, Blackman thought that Obama's DACA order was unconstitutional, and so people were upset - the fact that Blackman supports DREAM (i.e. he wasn't anti-childhood immigrants, he just thought that the fix had to be legislative not executive order to be constitutional) was a subtlety that was apparently lost on some law students, who said things like "fuck the law". However, the speech did end up going ahead this time.

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“ "Were I a member of Congress, I would vote for the DREAM Act. My position is that the policy itself was not consistent with the rule of law. Which teaches a lesson." Someone started snapping and booing. "The lesson is you can support something as a matter of policy." Someone shouted, "What about human rights?" I continued, "but find that the law does not permit it. And then the answer is to change the law."

A student shouted out "F**k the law.”

I believe there’s an old saying about pounding the table? Deep down I want to believe that they’re actually cosplaying as Brooklyn defence attorneys willing to rhetorically shock people in the name of resolute advocacy. 

 

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40 minutes ago, MinesAndMinerals said:

“ "Were I a member of Congress, I would vote for the DREAM Act. My position is that the policy itself was not consistent with the rule of law. Which teaches a lesson." Someone started snapping and booing. "The lesson is you can support something as a matter of policy." Someone shouted, "What about human rights?" I continued, "but find that the law does not permit it. And then the answer is to change the law."

A student shouted out "F**k the law.”

I believe there’s an old saying about pounding the table? Deep down I want to believe that they’re actually cosplaying as Brooklyn defence attorneys willing to rhetorically shock people in the name of resolute advocacy. 

 

Thank you for giving the full context to the comment I referred to.

However, and not least because the topic was free speech, I chose to spell it out in full without elision, hence "fuck" not "f**k".

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More about CUNY and this, the relevant law students' group doubled down on "fuck the law", saying that's exactly what they meant.

https://blog.simplejustice.us/2018/04/24/cuny-national-lawyers-guild-explains/#more-36919

I liked the comment by Judge Kopf:

"...I see it now. “Dear prospective law students: ‘Attend CUNY and Fuck the Law.'” That marketing theme is sure to attract loads of applicants, particularly those who have creative writing skills...."

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Posted (edited)
On 4/11/2018 at 7:56 AM, maximumbob said:

It is telling that, even some graduates from the top US schools fail to pass the bar exam within 2 years. 

And the irony is that Ontario's Bar Exam isn't even the toughest one in Canada.  That distinction goes to Nova Scotia, the only province to my knowledge (which might be dated) to have a CLOSED BOOK bar exam.  That said, I am told New Brunswick's is second toughest, and at one time had such a high fail rate, they needed to dumb the exam down to make it more passable!

Edited by HumptyDumpty
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7 minutes ago, HumptyDumpty said:

And the irony is that Ontario's Bar Exam isn't even the toughest one in Canada.  That distinction goes to Nova Scotia, the only province to my knowledge (which might be dated) to have a CLOSED BOOK bar exam.  That said, I am told New Brunswick's is second toughest, and at one time had such a high fail rate, they needed to dumb the exam down to make it more passable!

I know, the Ontario exam is a joke.  

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6 hours ago, HumptyDumpty said:

And the irony is that Ontario's Bar Exam isn't even the toughest one in Canada.  That distinction goes to Nova Scotia, the only province to my knowledge (which might be dated) to have a CLOSED BOOK bar exam.  That said, I am told New Brunswick's is second toughest, and at one time had such a high fail rate, they needed to dumb the exam down to make it more passable!

I'd argue that title goes to the Quebec barreau. That exam is brutal.

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