Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Foreseeable Happened: New York Bar Passage Rate Plunges to Historic Low, Thanks to Lower Law School Admissions Standards

Falling Rates!: On October 27, 2015, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog published a Jacob Gershman article that was entitled “New York Bar Exam Pass Rate Hits Historic Low.” Check out this lovely opening:

“New York just released the results of the July state bar exam, and they’re not pretty. 

The passage rate for graduates of ABA-accredited schools who took the test for the first time was 79%, the lowest figure since at least 2004. That’s four percentage points below the July 2014 rate, and it’s more than an 11 percentage-point drop-off from 2008 when 90.5% of candidates in that grouping passed the exam. 

The results out of New York, the state with the largest population of lawyers, follow an emerging national pattern and are certain to fuel debate in the legal and academic communities about whether law schools are setting admissions standards too low. 

New York’s overall passage rate, including foreign-educated graduates, was 61%, according to the New York State Board of Law Examiners, which released the data Tuesday. That figure is the lowest recorded in the state in at least 35 years, according to the board. 

The pool of ABA school candidates was also the smallest in at least a decade, dipping to 6,535. At the same time, the number of foreign-educated test-takers hit a record high of 3,154, according to the state body. 

More than 30 states have released their July bar exam results and about two-thirds of them reported declines in passage-rates for would-be lawyers, according to Excess of Democracy, a blog run by Pepperdine University Law School professor Derek T. Muller.” [Emphasis mine]

This is what happens when ABA-accredited commodes start admitting and enrolling waterheads and mental midgets, in order to keep the gravy train of federal student loans rolling along. Congratulations, law school pigs. Your mothers must be exceptionally proud.

Other Coverage: The New York Times Dealbook featured an Elizabeth Olson piece, under the headline “Study Cites Lower Standards in Law School Admissions” – on October 26, 2015. Enjoy the following segment:

"As law schools across the country try to keep their classrooms full, many are admitting students with lesser qualifications, including those with a lower admissions test score — considered an important predictor of whether a graduate will earn the credentials to practice law. 

About a third of the 204 accredited law schools had entering classes last year with at least 25 percent of the class consisting of “at risk” students, or those with law school admissions test scores of below 150, according to a new study by Law School Transparency, a nonprofit advocacy organization. 

Law school admissions scores closely mirror the final results of the state bar exams, which graduates must pass to qualify as licensed lawyers. Many in legal education consider a score of 150 as a telling dividing line between future success or failure. 

“Too many law schools are filling their entering classes with people who face serious risk of not passing the bar exam,” said Kyle McEntee, executive director of Law School Transparency, which he helped to found six years ago to promote more open law school practices. He said that last year 45 schools, up from eight in 2010, admitted seriously at-risk students. 

Most law schools maintain that test scores are only one indicator, albeit an important one, of the ability to pass the bar. They also say they need flexibility in selecting students to assure a diverse population of lawyers. 

Yet many schools are also facing pressure from plummeting enrollments — the lowest in decades. Law school enrollment reached a peak in 2010, as many students fled a troubled economy to the schools’ safe harbor. With a swelling crop of students, bar passage rates soared, but it all began to come apart quickly when jobs in law seemed to melt away overnight as the industry adjusted to a changed economy.” [Emphasis mine]

Of course, the law school swine will refer to these at-risk victims as “under-represented minorities” or low income applicants “deserving of a chance to enter the profession.” For $ome rea$on, these pieces of garbage do not give a second thought to financially ruining these unconnected men and women. These “educators” are such beacons of integrity, right?!?!

On October 27, 2015, Staci Zaretsky posted an ATL entry labeled “New York Bar Exam Results Reveal Worst Pass Rates In More Than A Decade.” After further documenting the big-ass drop in the bar passage rate, while seeing fewer candidates, the author address the root cause:

“What is to be done about this problem? There’s a relatively simple solution that no one will pursue because money matters above all else in this world. Law schools need to stop scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to admitting students to fill their otherwise empty seats. Admission standards must be raised to end this misery. 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again because it really bears repeating: “Until law schools realize they’re doing a disservice to everyone — their students, their graduates, and their graduates’ future clients — things will only continue to get worse.” [Emphasis mine]

These academic pigs DO NOT GIVE ONE GODDAMN about their students or recent graduates! Based on that fact, you can only imagine what they think of the taxpayers and potential legal clients.

Conclusion: In the final analysis, the bitches and hags do not lose one wink of sleep at night, knowing that legions of their recent graduates cannot find decent jobs – or that they are consigned to financial hell. After all, the cockroaches merely provide an “education.” Plus, living with mountains of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt is someone else’s problem. However, the sick whores feign concern that the bar exam is becoming too difficult – because they know that low passage rates make the schools look weak, which might further impact future enrollment.


  1. And good ol' Touro almost singlehandedly brought the average down about 10 percentage points. With a 52% bar passage rate, Touro can no longer defend itself against any assertion that the school is total joke even among New York's bottom tier shitlaw schools.

    If the New York State Bar had any sense of justice, they'd close down that steamy pile of dogshit immediately and see that her faculty was fired and disbarred for producing such piss poor results. But you'll notice that the current dean is co-chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar. How convenient, huh? And as long as the feds continue to subsidize and guarantee loans covering the full cost of attendance, those chislers are going to continue to admit and graduate students who won't be able to pass the bar or land any sort of employment.

    It's just disgusting. Campos is totally right about the whole regulatory capture thing.

    1. Big deal. Touro Law School was a piece of fucking dog shit in the 80s. It was a piece of shit ten years ago. It's a gigantic, stinky piece of dog shit now. And it will be an even bigger, smellier, stinkier, moister pile of dog shit ten year from now. It's been enrolling retards for decades.

    2. Where did you see the results by school?


    4. "And good ol' Touro almost singlehandedly brought the average down about 10 percentage points."

      What effect Touro has on the average IQ scores of the nation? That must have gone down as well.

    5. Here are some of the shitty law schools in NY.

      SUNY Buffalo = shithole
      Albany Law = pure shit
      Brooklyn Law School = shittier than shit
      Pace = moist shit
      Touro = miserable piece of fucking dogshit
      NYLS = shit
      CUNY = shit

      Fordham and Hofstra aren't much better. I know I'm missing a few others. (That's what happens when you have so many fucking shitholes in one state.) NYU is a gamble for a lot of students. Same with Cornell. Columbia is the closest thing to a safe bet. But even those assholes are competing with Yale and Harvard grads for Biglaw.

    6. @9:03

      Very good analysis except NYLS is ridiculously overpriced and completely useless shit and Hofstra is just staying above Touro on the miserable shit pile. St. John's is alumni-driven shit that can get you a gig at the Brooklyn or Queens D.A. office. Fordham is crusty, drying out shit that nobody cares about anymore. Cardozo is just kosher shit.

      The only three law schools in NY that offer their graduates a real shot at biglaw money capable of paying back student loans are Columbia, NYU and Cornell. And, as you noted, even they're becoming a real gamble.

      And the fact is that biglaw isn't hiring as many new associates as they once did. Nothing is safe in law anymore.

  2. Ah, but the exam is much too difficult! It actually requires literacy. How unreasonably demanding! Not to mention a rudimentary knowledge of law. Heavens! Why should a lawyer have to have that? Just certify everybody! And discharge every loan, too! After all, people shouldn't be expected to take the slightest responsibility for their own decisions.

  3. It's the same story over and over again. Law schools are exploiting minorities for their money. My favorite is Hofstra's former Dean Nora Demleitner. "Demleitner is a self-described liberal Democrat who supports abortion rights and LGBT equality."

    Liberal deans like Demleitner claim they admit minorities for diversity purposes. However these diversity admits are failing the bar at alarming rates. They also end up with staggering debts that follow them for the rest of their lives. Enough of these "liberal dogooders" who are using the diversity rational to line their pockets with federal loan money.

    1. "Doing good" is just an excuse for the exploitation of the last untapped population eligible for federally guaranteed student loans in arbitrarily large amounts. If enough white people with slightly higher LSAT scores could be found to fill the seats, the law-school scamsters would drop the racialized populations like a hot potato.

  4. It's already this bad now and the classes of 2016 and 2017 are going to be even less intellectually able. Even with the political protection that the law schools enjoy, I'm hoping this storm will be enough to bring them back down to Earth.


    A shout out to all the losers that failed the NY bar exam.

  6. Doesn't matter - at least in the following context:

    Pass or don't pass, there are no jobs. The same PPC folks will always do well while the rest struggle over crumbs in the job market.

    The end result was that the schools got what they wanted- the money - while the graduates may go forth and eat cake.

    Nothing changed except who were in the seats. Of those who pass, x% will be out of law anyway in 5-10-15-20-30 years. x% will never get a job in law (higher % than ever now) and the debt levels are now higher than ever and climbing.

    As far as the schools getting slammed, nope.. you wish. They have all the money and the courts behind them. They're in the Club.

    The scam will continue on until, literally, there are no more applicants to be tapped.

  7. The law schools will make a push for easier state bar exams. Let's hope the state bars hold firm and make it even harder to pass.

    1. They will cave. The Deans at Kent School of Law and DePaul are pressuring the Illinois Bar Examiners to take a look at recent declines in passage rates. They will never ever concede that the exam has not changed, their admissions standards have.

  8. If you don't succeed the first time... try , try, try again.
    Focus harder on the BarBri prep material.

    Also criminal defense is still a good option if you go to a low tuition law school. PD or prosecutors are in demand to serve the public. There you will get court room experience!

    1. You can also serve the "public" as a garbage man, cop, plumber, fireman, carpenter, electrician, toll booth collector, etc. And guess what!!!? With most of those jobs, if you do them working for the "public," ie municipality, you will make six figures, never be fired, have no student loans, and a guaranteed gold plated retirement before you hit 50. Did I mention you can start doing that kind of job nice and young too!?

      Fuck yourself.

    2. Huh? Why do you continue to post your you clearly have no idea what the legal market is like. First, where are all these "low tuition" law schools? Second, both DA and PD jobs are publicly funded, and the gravy days are over. These are extremely tough jobs to get.
      So please, enough with the nonsense.

    3. Agree with 6:27. My solo buddies and I out 25 years with criminal experience applied for PD gigs when things went south in 2007 Three years later, we were interviewed. . We all received rejection letters, PD's have an embarrassment of riches now to choose from. Top notch, polished kids from Tier 1 schools. They are no longer "fall back" jobs when solo practice gets slow. Old, frumpy, cynical, Balding Jewish lawyers like me are a dime a dozen. Were surplus. What would a PD's office rather have? A guy like me who will never ever piss off a judge so I can make it to pension time, a young idealistic, smart kid?

    4. Please delete this shit about an alleged abundance of jobs for prosecutors. This person keeps posting it in every discussion. It's bullshit, we've discussed it before, and there's nothing to be gained from repeating it in every thread.

    5. Those jobs generally only go to the connected and are only open when there is some sort of turnover that needs to be filled. That is rare.

      Nobody quits those things. Even with all the manufactured fake crime out there, mostly of the drug variety, there really isn't that much crime to even work through. Certainly not enough to justify the increase in lawyers.

      In most courts the attorneys are the lowest paid people in the court room.

  9. All five law schools in GA saw pass rates go down this year, even 1st tier UGA and Emory.

    Pass rate for all first-time takers: 77.8%
    By school:
    U of GA: 87%
    GA State: 84%
    Emory: 78.9%
    Mercer: 73.2%
    John Marshall Atlanta: 50%

    1. BTW the above figures are for first time takers. Repeat takers have a pass rate of 18% according to the bar examiners' Web site and so reduce the pass rate further.

      Pass rate for John Marshall Atlanta for all takers, including repeats : 35.9%.

      Submitted without comment.

  10. The Empire Strikes Back:

    For all the lies, the worst is that they are training lawyers for public service jobs. While that's a noble goal, it's also a lie, as these jobs don't exist. It's beyond outrageous, as these scammers know it's a lie but still trot it out.

    1. Govt/public service law jobs are extremely competetive. These jobs offer generally better benefits and job security than the private sector, 10 year loan repayment under IBR/PAYE, and often (esp for federal jobs) pay as much or more than small firm/solo gigs.

    2. Federal government actually pays 78% more than their private sector counterparts, and that gap is probably only rising.


    On October 29, 2015, Slate published a piece from Jordan Weissmann, under the blunt headline “Desperate Law Schools Are Admitting Way Too Many Poorly Qualified Students.” Look at this killer opening:

    “As their application numbers collapsed in recent years, a good number of law schools were forced to choose between their academic standards and their finances. With fewer qualified candidates to go around, some decided to shrink their enrollment numbers and forgo a bit of revenue rather than drastically relax their admission criteria. But many others took the path of least resistance, opening their doors to poorly qualified students willing to pay tuition.

    As a result, a depressing number of law schools are now filled with students who may simply not belong there. According to a new study released this week by the advocacy group Law School Transparency, there were 37 institutions last year where at least half of all new students scored below a 150 on the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, up from just nine such schools in 2010. Why is that significant? The group argues that students who fail to break the 150 mark face a "serious risk" of eventually failing their state bar exam once they graduate, which would leave them unable to actually practice law.

    To put this in perspective, there are only 203 law schools accredited by the American Bar Association. That means nearly 1 in 5 are now admitting classes that are half made up of at-risk students. At 74 schools, meanwhile, at least a quarter of new students failed to clear a 150 on their LSAT.

    "We are not aware of a time when so many law schools had something like an open enrollment policy," the report states, noting that 4 out of 5 people who applied to law school last year were admitted by at least one. "To a real extent, we're in uncharted territory."

    Under ABA rules, law schools have a responsibility to admit students who stand a chance of one day passing the bar, because the vast majority of states require them to do so in order to become licensed lawyers. The problem is that, while research suggests that students with lower LSAT scores are more likely to fail the bar, there's no real consensus in the legal academy about how low is too low on the entrance exam. In part, that's because it varies with geography; passing the bar is far harder in some states than others. (God help the poor J.D.'s of California.) But the bigger issue is that nobody really seems to collect the data. The ABA doesn't require schools to report bar passage by LSAT score, and those that track it internally are loath to reveal it to the outside world.” [Internal citation removed]

    Hell, gaining admission to an ABA-accredited toilet is less impressive and less prestigious than beating your eight year old nephew in a game of chess. Even beauty school graduates learn real, tangible skills. Try paying back $143,728.18 in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, for a worthless-ass law degree, while raking in $39K per year, Bitch.

    1. Nando, Name the schools!

  12. There's no reason to think that law professors or admissions deans can understand ANY OF THIS when none of them have faced these difficulties or even wanted to be lawyers in the first place.

    1. Ask any of them, even the clinical ones or even trial practice academics, when was the last time you filed your appearance in a pending lower court matter and stepped up before a judge and you are the only attorney of record and didn't just send in a pro bono law student? Ask how many DUI's or bond hearings they conducted? Do they know how to get somebody out of jail? The answer will startle you. When I graduated law school, I didn't even have clear idea of the entire criminal process from Investigation through Post trial motions. That's because these guys and that professor from Drexel with the Anal beads email have never seen the inside of a court room.

    2. This seems to be the case for pretty much all areas of the law, not just criminal law.

  13. Does anyone know the South Dakota Bar passage rate?


    Take a look at this opening, from the October 27, 2015 ATL entry cited in the main entry above:

    "The results for the July 2015 administration of the New York bar exam are out, and they really aren’t pretty. In fact, they’re downright ugly. It would seem that Erica Moeser, president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners and newly appointed oracle of the legal profession, was correct: today’s test-takers are simply “less able” than their predecessors.

    Congratulations to you if you passed the New York bar exam this time around, because many of your peers did not. Please reach out and thank your law school for admitting subpar students, because your colleagues’ failure is making your success look even better.

    How bad is the damage? According to the New York State Board of Law Examiners, 10,671 examinees — the lowest number of candidates to take a July bar since 2006 — sat for the test this summer. Of those examinees, only 61 percent passed the New York bar exam. The overall pass rate for first-time takers was 70 percent. These are precipitous drops.

    Take a look at these New York bar statistics to see how awful the July 2015 results are:

    [The chart below lists years of exam, followed by the passage rate for all candidates, all first-time takers, and all first-time ABA takers, respectively.]

    July 2015 61%, 70%, 79%
    July 2014 65%, 74%, 83%
    July 2013 69%, 78%, 86%
    July 2012 68%, 76%, 83%
    July 2011 69.2%, 78.5%, 86.1%
    July 2010 70%, 78%, 86%
    July 2009 72%, 80%, 88.2%
    July 2008 74.7%, 83.2%, 90.5%
    July 2007 70.6%, 79.1%, 87%
    July 2006 69.5%, 79.4%, 86.7%
    July 2005 67%, 75.9%, 82.7%
    July 2004 67.4%, 76.5%, 83.1%

    Even when the results were bad in the past, they were never this bad."

    See a pattern there, people? If you cannot, then you may be one of the mental midgets who recently sat for – and failed – the New York bar exam. This was an expected outcome. The law school pigs WILLINGLY and KNOWINGLY lowered their admi$$ion$ “standards” further – as a response to fewer applicants. It has been well-documented, in the past few years, that smarter college grads – and those who scored higher on the LSAT – have chosen to avoid law school. Well, the swine did not want to leave federal student money laying on the table, so they accepted a higher percentage of dumbasses.

  15. 12:03 PM ---

    You have a point. But don't forget in NY, you can sit for the bar with only one year of law school completed. So people should think about doing the one year, and pick up the BarBri prep to pass the bar. Not sure how far you can go with a NY license to practice law and not the associated degree.

    Heck, in California, you can even sit for the bar w/o law school -reading the law- (Bar Bri prep to cover the needed subjects). We need to embrace these nontraditional paths. If only the legal community embraced change and not prestige so much.

    And in another state they did away with the bar all together, and all you have to do is graduate with a law degree and you can practice within the state. Someone needs to re-evaluate the system, and create two tiers (like in the UK).... and for god's sake... bring back the LLB....... Reform with standardized / different pathways to a legal education is the only way stabilize things. (example... for criminal law, 60% of law school is useless).

  16. No, we don't. This is the "reform" charade, which is simply a guise for cranking out more lawyers faster. Let me put this simply: There is no shortage of attorneys, anywhere, in any field of law. Period Full Stop.


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