Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wall Street Journal Documents the Further Drop in Bar Passage Rates Across the Nation

Further Documentation: On November 24, 2015, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog published a Sara Randazzo piece that was entitled “Bar Exam Passage Rates Nationwide Keep Dropping.” Check out the following portion:

“The last time we checked in on bar passage rates, the results weren’t looking too rosy for law school graduates who took the July 2015 exam. 

The numbers still seem to be in a downward spiral, most recently demonstrated in California. While the Golden State didn’t see quite as large a drop as some other states, the percentage of first-time test takers who passed the exam fell to 60% from 61.4% a year earlier on the July exam. Among first-timers who attended American Bar Association-accredited schools, the rate dropped about a percentage point to 68%. 

The National Law Journal took a look this week at some of the states that have seen declining rates on the July exam. Some of the most notable numbers, according to the story:

In Pennsylvania, the passage rate for first-time test takers fell below 80% for the first time since 2003, to 78.3% 
• In Georgia, the first timers rate dropped almost 7 percentage points, to 73.5% 
• In Texas, 76.6% of first-time test takers passed, down about 4 percentage points from a year ago 
• In Florida, first-timers passed at a rate of 68.9%, compared to 71.8% last year 

Douglas Sylvester, dean of Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, told Law Blog that the national numbers indicate “the credentials of these students are lower” than they’ve been in the past—a sentiment that’s taking hold in the legal community. Schools are “either admitting someone who can never pass the bar, or failing to educate them,” he said.” [Emphasis mine]

The law school pigs KNOWINGLY and WILLINGLY admitted a higher percentage of applicants, even though the credentials of the lemmings have dropped. Yes, that is a recipe for success, right?!?! Then again, the swine don’t care about their students. However, since bar passage rates reflect the strength of a program, the cockroaches have been forced to feign concern for their graduates.

Nicholas Allard of Crooklyn Law School has made several moronic attempts to place the blame at the feet of the bar examiners for making the test too difficult for his lower quality JDs. Don’t expect the jackals to accept responsibility for lower pass rates.

Other Coverage: The National Law Journal posted a Sheri Qualters entry labeled “Bar Exam Pass Rates Drop Across the Country” - on November 23, 2015.  Check out this killer opening:

“Bar exam passage rates sank in several big states, indicating a drop in the qualifications of students amid fewer law school applications. 

Pass rates in California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania all came in lower for the July 2015 exam.

As demand for law schools has dropped over the last few years, law schools, as a result, have been admitting and graduating less-qualified students,” said Derek Muller, an associate professor at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California, who has studied and blogged about the issue. 

The number of law school applicants plunged from 87,900 in 2010 to 54,130 in 2015, according to the Law School Admission Council. 

Law schools have been admitting students with lower LSAT scores and lower grade-point averages in recent few years and “that manifests itself in the bar exam a few years later,” Muller said. 

The bar pass rate in California dropped to the lowest point since the fall of 1986. For the state’s July exam, just 46.6 percent of applicants and 60 percent of first-time takers passed, compared with July 2014 rates of 48.6 percent overall and 61.4 percent for first-time takers. The overall pass rate in the fall of 1986 was 44.4 percent. 

New York’s overall pass rate for July first-time test takers from American Bar Association-accredited schools hit its lowest point since 2004. This summer, 79 percent of those examinees passed, compared with 83 percent in July 2014. The state’s 70 percent overall pass rate in July 2015 dropped from 74 percent in July 2014.” [Emphasis mine]

You’re welcome, bitches! However, you rodents chose to lower your admi$$ion$ "standards" further.

Conclusion: In the final analysis, the law school pigs DO NOT GIVE ONE GODDAMN about their students or recent graduates. For years, they have pumped out FAR TOO MANY JDs, for the available number of attorney openings. They did so with full knowledge that the U.S. lawyer job market was GLUTTED – and they did not miss a wink of sleep over this fact or their role in consigning legions of law students to a lifetime of financial ruin. 

Only now when it becomes apparent that the selfish whores accepted too many waterheads – in order to get their hooves on more federal student loan dollars – are they interested in the outcomes for their grads. When JDs were working as “sandwich artists” or selling insurance policies, they did not blink an eye. If a significant portion of their recent classes had to return to their prior non-legal work, or serve pizzas in sit down restaurants, the swine did not have the slightest concern. After all, the cockroaches could simply claim that those students were “lazy bastards who didn’t apply themselves.” If a commode produces low bar passage rates, those applicants who fail have no chance to practice law – at least not for another 6-12 months. And the rats recognize that they will have one hell of a time justifying their gross tuition rates for a garbage “legal education.” Of course, mental midgets will continue to enroll – but perhaps at a lower clip.


  1. If you look at any Popular Mechanics or Popular Science magazine from the 50s and 60s you will see ads for Blackstone College of Law and La Salle Extension University right next to the bulldozer operator and carpet cleaner franchise ads. They proclaim you can be a "Law Trained Man" by reading the Law a few hours a week! Some of these ads show a man in a suit standing in front of a tidy brick suburban home next to his big new Chev. It smacks of hucksterism. This is what's happening with law schools today.... Compare that to a websites of many law schools and you will see several "Apply Now" buttons and frothy proclamations of being a "world beater."

  2. Just like the mortgage crisis - everyone who qualifies for a mortgage already has one, so in order to keep the machine going you have to prey on those who maybe weren't looking for a mortgage, and lower lending standards to boot.

    Even the ivory tower can't run from market forces. The sad part is that the kids get stuck with the raw deal, while the scamdeans and lawprofs laugh all the way to the bank.

  3. And yet the test-takers this year are geniuses compared to the ones who will be taking the bar in a few years.

    1. This. Especially Brooklyn Law School test-takers.

  4. The bar examiners should intentionally lower the passage rate.

    If, for example, only 10 new lawyers are needed in any particular state, they should only admit 10 new lawyers (with maybe 1 or 2 extra) in order to fill the necessary slots. No reason to admit more than that. Just take the top scores from the exam, and admit them.

    This is probably the best way to shut-down law schools too. If word gets out that state bars are intentionally lowering the number of new bar members per year, people may be deterred from applying.

  5. The state of the legal field reminds me of the conditional admitted AAMPLE law students. They either had poor grades or low LSAT's --- and were given a chance. They were able to over come the odds and become practicing lawyers.

    Passed the bar on the second try for most of them, but they had this redeeming factor. They hustled hard and never gave up. We can learn a few things from them.

    Life evolves and you must adapt. So the new generation of lawyers should not give up, do not be discouraged. You must change with the times.

    Always remember in tough times of turmoil there will always be opportunity. You just have to think outside
    the box and shoot for the moon. If you miss, on your way down grab a star. The market will rebound eventually (more so stabilize over time) , this is a cycle effect that we are seeing.

    1. That is drivel. That sounds like a Superbowl commercial for a Dodge. The bottom line is that only 30% of the class of 2014 has found a job that requires bar passage and that is NOT a solo. Solo for a newbie without a network, connections, work, steady client flow, means UNEMPLOYED or couldn't find something else. Whether you are a veteran ace attorney or a newbie "who overcame the odds" no work means no money.

    2. You can shoot for the stars by not pursuing a college or law school education, instead, you obtain a nice city municipal job. At 45, you don't have to work anymore.

      Or you can be an idiot and listen to salesman drivel about "shooting for the stars," etc

      Natural Selection at its finest.

    3. This is a rather blase attitude to take given the $200k cost of attendance. If one already has the funds and/or is independently wealthy, maybe. Too big of a gamble otherwise, as that "star" you catch for "hustling" on the way down likely won't pay the interest on your non-dischargable loans. Just look at the testimonials of practicing attorneys on this site alone.

      The math used to work, but things have changed a bit since 1970 or so.

    4. @ 3:47 -- this is good advice for life in general, but it is NOT good career advice.

      People cannot get too invested in any one single career. If something isn't working, they need to try something else. Otherwise, they're just wasting time that could have been better spent training to do something else.

      This is especially true for law. A law student cannot think "outside the box," especially given how rigid the legal profession is.

      As per the AAMPLE students, they just exemplify how low the bar has fallen in the legal sector. If "mental midgets" can somehow manage to obtain jobs as lawyers, it just shows that the actual brain power necessary for certain law jobs is very low.

      I worked "toxic tort" for a few years, and the work I did could have been handled by a high school student. The only reason a JD did the job (rather than a secretary) was so that they could bill the insurance company at a lawyer's rate of $200 per hour (rather than at a paralegal rate of $65 per hour). I imagine this is the type of job the AAMPLE students get.

      Note that there is no analogous AAMPLE category for medical, dental, engineering, actuarial, computer programming or finance students. Obviously, some professions refuse to lower their bars, whereas law has no problem lowering its bar.

    5. Who let 3:47pm into the peyote mushrooms again? Shoot for the moon? Grab a star? What is this guy, Jimminy Cricket?
      Here are the facts: these bar flunkees are toast. They've got a worthless degree-can't even be desperate solos with no license-and a mountain of debt. It's a terrible thing to say, but their lives are a disaster. This is further proof that TTTs are a loser's game: the only way to win is to not play.

    6. Sorry, but that is misleading.

      The market may well rebound eventually, but that won't do recent graduates any good. Anyone who hasn't found a job in law within a year of graduation should forget about it.

      Those people with low LSAT scores and low GPAs are unlikely to be decent lawyers. Almost all of them should have been turned away from law school.

    7. You're a fucking idiot. Wow

    8. Old Guy is correct. I have worked with some newbie prosecutors. You can detect that standards have decreased. They ask the DEFENSE lawyer for the law. There was one prosecutor I (A DEFENSE LAWYER) downloaded a report for him from the National District Attorneys Association to teach him "how to do his job." Oy Vey. Didn't want him to get hurt and I wanted a good deal for my guy.

    9. 3:47 needs a sedative. He/she is a fool or an idiot.

      40 year solo here.

  6. i can hardly wait to read this year's letter from Dean Allard; wonder who's to blame this yea?. Not the law schools for lowering admissions standards, of course.

  7. Bad bar pass rates should send a message to 0Ls. If you can't pass the bar and you a degree from a shitty ass law skool, guess what? You've taken out a shit ton of money and you can't even practice law.

  8. The sad thing is these morons probably have better employment prospects than the 2007-2009 classes, which were the most competitive on record but got the least out of law school.

  9. Meanwhile, nobody has heard anything but the sound of crickets chirping over at the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar...

  10. If defunding the law school scam is not a bipartisan issue, I don’t know what is. This is one issue that Congress should be able to act on. Republicans, especially tea party zealots, should be disgusted that the taxpayer is on the hook for tens of billions of government loans that will likely never be repaid because at least 50% of law grads cannot get employment as attorneys. Establishment oriented republicans should be disgusted at the great number of potentially adversarial, employment law savvy grads that are being dumped into the ranks of the general population. These are folks that can try to cash out by bringing baseless employment discrimination claims against hard working business owners as they play act being real attorneys. Democrats on the other hand, should be repelled by the non-dischargeable debt penury being foisted on immature college grads, especially those form minority and unconnected lower middle class backgrounds, who will never repay.

    Bottom line, no federal loans for anyone with a LSAT score under 160. At least the 160+ test takers have some aptitude for practicing law, even if they don’t have the credentials to enter an elite school. Also cap the loan dollars to ½ of annual tuition plus living expenses. Make the schools or private sector fund the balance; i.e. give them some skin in the game.

    1. I agree. For years I've advocated a floor of 160 for admission to law school. I freely admit that that threshold is arbitrary (there are probably some capable people with a 159 and many incapable people with much higher scores) and that it favors the privileged. But it would solve a lot of problems without allowing the scamsters to weasel their way out.

  11. From the Comments section of the National Law Journal piece cited in the main entry:

    "• This is what happens when higher education curriculum starts to cater to the dumbest people in the room instead of the smartest.

    Nov 26, 2015

    The problem is endemic, and this is merely a symptom of it.

    • Ro Kay

    Nov 24, 2015

    Becoming a professional, i.e., achieving proficiency in a field of study, requires a number of things, not one thing only. In law, primarily one must be able to read and understand, to analyze, to analogize, to perceive the pertinent concept, and to know how to apply it with supportive documentation and legal precedence. The LSATs, at least in my day and that of my adult children, tests for reading comprehension, reasoning ability, and the ability to apply general knowledge to the particular. The Bar Exam tests for more of the latter. Law school hopefully tests for the ability to communicate through speech and the written word. If fewer people with those skills are going to law school, fewer are going to pass the Bar Exam. The biggest mistake the profession can make is to "dumb down." Thank our lucky stars that those who do not have those skills will not be lawyers. For the past several decades law schools have pumped out far too many mediocre or worse lawyers to be. They have gone on to do harm to clients, and generally degrade the profession. Noting that some states grade on a curve and control the number of lawyers they will admit, in my opinion that is not a terrible thing. A glut of mediocre professionals should not be our goal.

    • Martin

    Nov 24, 2015

    Considering how much these students will have invested in their degrees, there will most definitely be pressure for some changes in grading, content of the tests; admissions policies; methods of education. Unknown for some time will be the effects on the profession. Does inability to pass the bar initially change the perceived worth of a law degree in the eyes of potential employers outside the justice/regulatory market?"

    Do you still want to sign on the dotted line, lemmings?! If so, then you are a prime candidate for a brain shunt.

  12. The real rankings

    T1 = Yale
    T2 =Stanford, Harvard
    T3 = the rest of the top 14 or so
    fourth tier = 15-50
    Anything below that is shit

    1. I'd say this is accurate. Anything below 50 doesn't even deserve to exist. Heck, anything below 14 really doesn't make any sense either.

      There's room for maybe 8k attorneys a year, and I'm being extremely generous. The glut is so large that you honestly won't need new attorneys for at least a decade.

      Why is it other professions have cutoffs but law is just flooded? I'm sure a lot of people would love to be doctors, or investment bankers, or CPAs or any number of other professions. But entry is strictly controlled and that's why those professions are prestigious and actually offer skilled service.

      Heck, it's harder to become a Walmart employee in some states than an attorney.

    2. Part 1:

      “law just flooded?”

      Good question.

      One aspect is that you do not need an expensive lab/hospital to have a law school. A law library really is unnecessary too, other than the ABA requires one. Law students use virtually nothing in the law library.

      Law schools only need classrooms, like junior colleges though barber colleges need fancy chairs, and scissors. Same for accounting, accounting is HARD and not a place of refuge for the mentally weak. The law is a refuge.

      Other professions are much more demanding and difficult.

      Everyone thinks being a lawyer places you in the same category as a doctor. (I discuss that below.)

      The breadth of the scam is awesome.

      Children seduced by the prestige of a 3 year professional degree-and XYZ Law School "wants" ME! Hooray!

      Everybody I know is happy or pleased that I earned a law degree-all with an approving smile and nod-except me. It has ruined my life-and I have made a decent living at it, and am really good at what I do. But, the hours are long, the stress is tremendous, and the money not anywhere close to what other fields pay for the same intellectual ability, time expenditure, stress, and responsibility. I would probably be earning 3 to 4 times my law practice income in a major corporation with a STEM degree.

      (A neighbor’s child, with a B.S. degree is in Hawaii for 10 days on business, 40 years younger than me. My law practice covers an 8 mile commute from home to my office. It always has. Period.)

    3. Part 2:

      0L's are not "sophisticated consumers." They are children. And the law schools are simply stealing from them by charging way too much for a degree that is statistically growing more difficult to convert into a law license, and even when that effort is successful, there are no jobs.

      Can you image 40% of medical students NOT passing a licensing exam?

      It is a scandal of monumental proportion that law schools have ratcheted up the tuition to astronomical heights, NOT taught their students how to practice law (surgeons DO learn how to CUT in medical school AND thank God they do, so is there shame, law schools, in teaching law students HOW to practice law?), and permitted non, or never, practitioners to teach. Law schools do not employ professors who have ever practiced law at any level, much less at the level the majority of their students will end up practicing.

      In my state, the land grant university charges MORE tuition to attend its law school than its medical school! And do employment outcomes justify THAT???

      My son, about 2 years from becoming an attending physician as a radiologist, read a job description for an entry level radiologist position to me several months ago: “Starting salary: $320,000, minimum of 8 weeks paid vacation, full benefits.” With 40 years of solo under my belt, I am lucky to make $100,000, and I have NO vacation and NO benefits. I pay those benefits to myself from my $100,000. (26 weeks of vacation in 40 years of work-so extravagant, huh?)

      Every teacher, lecturer, local practitioner involved in my son’s medical education actually practices medicine.

      I graduated from law school in 5 semesters with 2 courses during the summer. I was admitted to law school on the Friday before classes started, from the waiting list and figure I was the last student admitted academically to my class. I graduated at 24.??? Percent, barely top quarter, but 75% better than the last place at which I was admitted. My state’s bar exam was 2 days, 4 sessions. I took half the time for each session, answered the questions, put my pencil down, and was the first to leave the examination room all 4 sessions. I passed.

    4. Part 3

      I am no genius-I KNOW true geniuses-so much smarter than me and all of us (my roommate in undergrad took about 10 pages of notes for all 4 years of undergrad for ALL of his courses-he had 1 credit hour of “B” and all the rest, at least 119 credit hours of “A.” THAT is genius. Oh, and as a computer science major, he took the 5 hour-5 hour pre-med Biology sequence because he was interested, and earned 2 A’s, always with one of the top 3 test scores in a class of about 280. My other 2 roommates in undergrad took the other two top exam scores-the three sort of rotated who had the top test score.)

      My point: the bar exam is easy. Try sitting for the CPA exam, or the actuary exam. If you do not pass the bar exam on the first try, you should spend a couple of hours in your local park, contemplating your future.

      And with my modest, truly modest, law school performance (not COIF, or law review-but I did my absolute best), I did not feel that I was “practice-ready,” and I was not. It took over 2 years to find a job, and that job was 1/10th of the income as the top 5 or 10 students in my class were paid. This was 1975. Even then, the pay dropped dramatically from the top few to the rest. First job offer was $9,600. I turned that down. (I was making more teaching students part time how to play a musical instrument!) Job I took was $12,000. (That same year, my sister, 7 years younger, with a B.S. in data processing from a second tier state school, took a job with a Fortune 50 corporation, got a job at $22,000 with a pension plan, life insurance, disability insurance, health insurance, dental insurance, eye insurance, and 2 weeks paid vacation. Oh, and an 8 hour day. I was working 70 to 80 hours a week the first 22 years of practice. Work from 8 to 8:30 in the morning to 7 p.m. Go home, eat, come back at 9:00 p.m., and work until 1:00 to 3:00 a.m. Worked most Sunday nights. I have cut back to 10 hour day, 5 days a week.

      My student loan debt monthly payment was $32.92 per month.

      My law school tuition was $1,100 per YEAR. My total educational debt was $1,500.

      This is why I survived.

    5. Part 4

      Were I to assume a current law student’s education debt, at my age, with my practice, it would crush me, and I have a going-concern law practice. Why would anyone think they, as a 0L can do what I cannot do with the strength of my practice?

      So, enroll in law school, incur crushing debt, and fund some non or never practicing law professor’s retirement of vacation home in Aruba, Impressionist art collection, or…

      How deep is the MIND ROT?

      I have a client who worked as an employee-non-academic-at a local university. I represented him and his kids for 15 years or so.

      My client called one day, needing legal advice. Client explained the legal issue. Then said that, now retired and on a fixed income, wanted me to “be easy” on the bill.

      Two of my children attended the university where he worked. My client’s two children obtained 4 degrees from that university. I paid FULL tuition. My client paid NO TUITION, as education at that institution was FREE to children of employees.

      So, I paid part of my client’s childrens’ tuition, and BECAUSE I WAS A LAYWER, AND RICH (not), I should give my client a break on my fees for working for my client. (My client did not understand that I had been paying part of my client’s bills all along.)

      This is a daily insult, practicing law.

      If you listen, think, and act sensibly, great. If not, may God have mercy on your soul for you will need all the help you can get.

      (Sorry to all for the “big run” here, but it just has to be said. Too much is at stake for so many innocent kids.)


    6. Agree completely. In Illinois, there are 55,000 Walmart workers and 92,000 registered attorneys. The reason that the number of attorneys aren't restricted at this point is that during the 80s and up to about 2001, Public Defender Officers/Prosecutors and other public service positions had a high turn over rate and were always short of attorneys. In 2000, I had a couple offers to go into govt work and I even received a job offer while riding an ELEVATOR. I turned it down. I had a ton of interesting work as a solo and was home with my dog by 3:00. Now, I am home every day with little work and those govt jobs are now the golden ticket with thousands of applicants.

    7. Cincinnatus,

      Thank you for your insight. I have seen you comment on this blog before. Excellent stuff. Would you mind posting your story above in the comments section of my most recent entry? Thank you.

    8. Nando-Done.




    Reader comments to the Sara Randazzo article cited in the main entry:

    “2:55 pm November 25, 2015

    Millenial Bashee wrote:

    And let the bashing begin. The legal world is crumbling, new lawyers can't read above a 5th grade level and tier-4 law graduates are walking malpractice liabilities.

    8:10 am November 26, 2015

    Anonymous wrote:

    The legal education business is flourishing! We have nine (9) functioning law schools in Ohio plus a tenth just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. I don't think that number can be matched by any other profession.

    Yet the ABA and the League of Ohio Law Schools continue to approve all of these law colleges. The last thing the legal educators think about is: how many new law graduates are needed by our society and economy? Legal education is just a very profitable business to them!

    4:50 pm November 26, 2015

    wonderman wrote:

    I wonder how long it will take Washing DC to wake up and realize that student loan money is going down a hole that benefits mainly law faculty and not students who graduate with tons of debt, no job and no license. Federal and State funding of this is not in the public interest.

    5:41 pm December 2, 2015

    Anon2015 wrote:

    I think it would be more helpful if the article provided a better historical perspective on passage rates in general. What were they in 2000? 1985? The article mentions PA and the "lowest since 2003" -- how low were they before that? There is no context so it isn't very helpful. That said, there are too many law schools. MN finally smartened up and combined 2 of their 4 schools -- and now there are "only" 3.”

    As you can see, those who have gone through the proce$$ fully understand that the law schools are run and operated by filthy pigs – on the backs of taxpayers ultimately. How will society benefit from having tens or hundreds of thousands JDs who are piss broke, have no license or no real law practice, and individually owe $150K+ in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt? Remember when the faculty cockroaches appeared to be civic-minded? Obviously, that was a ploy to get asses in the door.

    1. In Illinois we have 9 law schools. I read where LEGAL Leaders in Peoria want a new local law school to serve the UNDERSERVED in that area. I didn't know that law schools are like Walmarts or gas stations? A few years back, UIC was considering opening a new law school.

    2. I be right THERE.

      They be not leaders. The President of Bradley University recently retired.

      Several years ago a person was hired to manage the pre-law students.

      I sleep KEEPING ONE EYE OPEN. I have bit of experience in "mass non-cooperation," courtesy of the lessons of Gandhi.

      Some folks at a very prominent National organization have fallen before my efforts.

      And justifiably so.

      We never sleep.

  14. Spending a fortune on a TTT law degree = BWAHAHAHAHA

    Spending a fortune on a TTT law degree + failing the bar'xam = tragic

  15. I an an adjunct professor, and thus I am commenting anonymously.

    I speculate that the problem is in part because of using computers exclusively to study for the bar exam. I urge students NOT to do that.


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