Thursday, September 29, 2016

Faculty Lounge Law School Pigs Squeal That the Bar Exam is Getting Too Difficult for Their Dumbass Graduates

Pathetic Antics: On September 28, 2016, Univer$iTTTTTy of Ma$$achu$eTTTTT$ Sewer of Law “professor” Ralph D. Clifford bitched about declining bar passage rates, in a Faculty Lounge entry labeled “Wait a Minute! Let's Think About the Mathematics of Bar Passage.” Take a look at this drivel:

“Florida had a 68.2% success rate on the bar last July. See Florida Results. (The success rate for practitioners is just slightly better at 68.9%). All of the non-practitioners—and probably most of the practitioners, too—are graduates from ABA schools. 

It is not possible for all ABA schools to achieve an 85% (or even 75%) pass rate in Florida. Despite what is said on A Prairie Home Companion, all of our children cannot be above average. The reality is that if one ABA school gets a passage rate that is above the state average, another one will be below it. 

Further, the passage rate trend on the Florida bar raises an important question. As the table and chart of July pass rates below indicates, the pass rate on the Florida bar has been declining fairly dramatically over the last eight years:

Year Overall Practitioners

2009 80.0 
2010 79.2 
2011 80.1
2012 80.2 — 
2013 77.2 — 
2014 71.8 
2015 68.9 69.6 
2016 68.2 68.9” [Emphasis mine]

Cockroach Ralph Clifford has eight years of significantly declining bar passage rates, for the State of Florida, but only two years of data on practitioners taking the exam. Great comparison, jackass. The $elf-$erving bastard then reaches the following conclusion:

“This declining passage rate can have two sources. One contributing factor, as much of the discussion about bar passage rates have assumed to be the sole factor, is that the quality of the people taking the bar exam has declined. The other possible factor that the discussion has ignored is that the bar exam itself has become more difficult. 

There is some support for this second factor being important in the percentage of practitioners who pass. There is not a significant difference between that rate and the overall rate. All of the practitioners presumably graduated from law school at least a decade ago and before the current shrinkage of the law student applicant pool occurred. If the current admission practices of law schools is causing the bar passage decline, how do we explain that practitioners are doing no better?” [Emphasis mine]

Ralph, when you have a moment, can you pull your head out of your ass? Perhaps, many of the practitioners taking the Florida bar exam were initially licensed decades ago, and have forgotten a fair amount of the material on the test, genius. Furthermore, that sample size may be pretty damn small, in contrast to the first time takers. Did that ever cross your academic thief mind?

Other Coverage: On September 28, 2016 at 4:21 pm, solid JDU contributor “ichininosan” started a thread that was entitled “Blaming the Bar Exam for Low Pass Rates.” Check out the following exchange:

“flharfh (Sep 28, 2016 - 7:12 pm)

So the law professor's argument is essentially "minority students tend to be too stupid to pass the bar exam. We need more minority lawyers because diversity, therefore bar exam standards should be lowered." Do I have it right? 

adamb (Sep 28, 2016 - 8:39 pm)

Yes - that is the logic, which is not even sound for an lsat logical reasoning statement.”

Of course, the law school pigs want state bar examiners to make the test easier so that more of their foolish graduates can pass – regardless of color or race. For $ome rea$on, the “legal scholars” at the Faculty Lounge “forgot” to mention that MBE scores improved slightly in 2016. According to Derek Muller at Excess of Democracy:

“My initial theory--unsupported by any evidence!--would be that the best students were sufficiently worried about the bar exam and studied more than ever. That would mean that the scores of people already inclined to pass the bar exam improved--and that wouldn't have any impact on the pass rates. It would shift up the mean score of the MBE without affecting the overall pass rates. And, if the quality of students law schools have been graduating has continued to decline, then we might expect to see overall pass rates decline.” [Emphasis mine]

Conclusion: If large portions of graduating classes cannot pass the bar – even though you swine are admitting and enrolling more waterheads – then what are you doing with these students for three years?!?! Then again, you are not miracle workers. You are simply proving true the adage: Garbage in, garbage out. Expect to see more ABA-accredited trash pits offer extensive test preparation, including entire courses devoted to reviewing the latest state bar exam. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend $135K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, for a three year review of bar materials?!?!


  1. The results in Florida aren't, or shouldn't be, a surprise, as the admissions standards for the schools have been dropping steadily over the past several years.
    But most law schools exist for one reason, and one reason only: to keep the deans/professors in their soft jobs, period. Law schools have never given a damn about the students, not when I attended decades ago, and certainly not now.
    So you saw last year's attack on the MBE by the Law School Cartel; that was actually a major mistake, as they were taking on an organization which would have to answer to national inquiries had it caved.
    What's going to happen now? Well, each state has its own set of bar examiners. My prediction is that the cartel meets again and realizes that enormous pressure can be placed on these groups on a state by state basis, often in the shadows. It will be interesting to see if states, such as Florida, have a marked increase in passage rates. The cartel does its best work in the back room, away from prying eyes, and it can and will bring massive pressure on the local bar examiners. You don't think these deans/profs want to actually practice law, do you?

    1. The problem the law schools have on a state-by-state basis is that the starving practicing attorneys want fewer law students to graduate. The state trial lawyers association will fight to maintain the higher bar exam standards.

  2. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingSeptember 29, 2016 at 7:34 AM

    Yes they did. And they also CELEBRATE when a school reaches a passage rate of 80%!!!! Folks, do you want your kid to bring home a B-? I recall during the late 80s and 90s when my school "fell" to a 92% passage rate. There was panic! Admission standards were reviewed and stronger students were subsequently admitted. Today, these turkeys go for admitting everybody and fix the problem later with remedial instruction. This is what GN did that landed them in Bankruptcy. They produced defective cars and then let the customers bring them back for warranty repairs. Not sustainable.

  3. But the shit survival statistics, low bar passage rates, and general doom have not killed off Wes Cooley Skool o' Lawl and that shithole extrordinare, Thomas Jefferson School of Law. When TJ is safely interred into the ground, *then* we can truly start dancing.

  4. The very existence of the bar exam is racist and sexist.

    Just ask any dean at a TTT law school.

  5. “It is not possible for all ABA schools to achieve an 85% (or even 75%) pass rate in Florida…all of our children cannot be above average. The reality is that if one ABA school gets a passage rate that is above the state average, another one will be below it.”

    I understand lawyers claim they are bad at math. I understand they do not use statistics. But how can any person calling themselves an academic be this dumb? Not even the Team AAMPLE/Seton Hall guy is this dumb.

    There are only two outcomes on the bar exam – pass or fail. EVERYONE can theoretically pass the bar exam! If you achieve the minimum passing score, you pass regardless of how other test takers performed.

    Let’s do an experiment. Let’s apply the logic of this law “professor” Ralph Clifford to a real profession, such as medicine. If we look at the results of medical board exams, we should find that only 75% of examinees from U.S. medical schools pass the exam. But in 2015, 94% of examinees from U.S. and Canadian medical schools passed the USMLE Step 1 exam taken after the second year of school. Not surprisingly, similar numbers of examinees passed the Step 2 exams. And 98% of examinees passed the Step 3 exam. According to Ralphie, this should not be possible. Old Ralphie should call up some American medical schools and get to the bottom of this.

    Here is another fact that would blow the minds of these law “professors.” Medical schools do not grade students by administering a subjective exam at the end of the semester, with absurd hypothetical questions, graded on a strict curve. (This was the old law school trick to take away scholarships from students. Law schools also know that big law only wants to hire a handful of the students, so the strict curve is how the law school identifies the few students that big law should consider). Instead, medical schools grade all course work on a pass/fail system, utilizing objective tests with clinically relevant questions. In contrast to the absurd nonsense spouted by Ralphie, most of the time, an entire class of medical students can pass the exam!

    So these “professors” are not just greedy pigs, they are complete imbeciles. This “professor” is so incompetent, he confused exams like the LSAT, that produce a score used for comparison purposes, with exams like the Bar, that simply measure whether someone has minimum knowledge of a subject. Look at the idiot’s logic. He claims that not everyone is above average. That is true, on a IQ test or on the LSAT, only 50% of the people can be above average. These exams are useful to compare people, such as when making admissions decisions. But then this idiot uses this principle that not everyone can be above average, to explain why so many people are failing the bar. This idiot misses the point that the bar exam is not distinguishing examinees for comparison purposes. The bar exam is measuring whether the examinee has the basic knowledge needed to practice law. Bar examinees are not competing with each other to achieve a percentile rank. As long as they reach the minimum score, they pass. How this “academic” can miss this point reflects very poorly on the state of legal education.

  6. Florida is also home to about 10 shitty law skools.

    1. But if you ranked the law schools by tuition rates... FAMU is the cheapest law school in the State, that gives their grads a fighting chance in the legal market.

      Everybody hates lawyers until they need one .....

  7. @8:36 pm - is a retard and does not get it.

    Example, Criminal Defense Retainers:

    Misdemeanor - $1,500 / Felony - $2,000

    No matter what school you go to, a JD from anywhere will qualify you to bill out these rates.

    Even if it means taking the bar twice, everyone deserves a bite at the apple.

    I think you forgot that there are plenty of people who have gotten high LSAT scores, passed the bar on the first try, and still cannot function as a lawyer.

    Law school just teaches theory, not the practice of law (for the most part). This is why it is not advised to hang a shingle right after graduation, unless you have been "trained" to practice.

    Getting experience / being trained isn't reserved for the high LSAT takers nor the people who past the bar on the first try.

    It's reserved for those who have heart, that do not let life challenges bring them down. That even after set backs are able to find there way out of the darkness and find their way. For the problem solvers, who bring value to the market place.

    So give the lower academic lawyer's a chance! You just might be surprised. There are plenty of AAMPLE grads who did this :-)

    1. To 7:43 above: You are the "retard" who doesn't get it. Just because you can produce a fee of $1500.00 or $2000.00 here and there doesn't mean that you will make it in the end. You would need to produce that fee 50 or more time per year for the rest of your working life - that means 35 or 45 years. There aren't that many client that can pay your fees even if the demand were there. Just walk away while you still can.

    2. God you people are stupid. I have never seen someone who was trolled so easily. This AAMPLE/FAMU idiot at 7:43 CLEARLY doesn't believe a word that he writes. He's just trying to get a reaction. Why are you replying? ****OLD GUY!!!!! DO YOU CONCUR!!!!!!!!!!!****

    3. Getting experience / being trained isn't reserved for the high LSAT takers nor the people who past the bar on the first try.

      It is reserved for those people who get jobs at reputable firms after graduation. That is, only the people at the very top of your typical law school.

      It's reserved for those who have heart, that do not let life challenges bring them down. That even after set backs are able to find there way out of the darkness and find their way. For the problem solvers, who bring value to the market place.

      Thanks for the moralistic brain fart, but markets, especially freeish ones, are not moral things. They do not reward people for being "good" or "hard-working". They reward people for identifying a supply/demand imbalance that favors producers over customers. The current legal market grossly favors customers and disfavors new producers.

      Example, Criminal Defense Retainers:

      Misdemeanor - $1,500 / Felony - $2,000

      Now find clients who are dumb enough to hire a noob to defend them from a felony charge. And identify enough of them annually to make a living AND pay your student loans.

      And $1500/$2000 per job are not big numbers, especially considering how much time you'll need to put into major misdemeanor or felony case (assuming you even get the job). You could earn as much or more by tiling people's bathrooms and hallways. That would require an initial investment in a good wetsaw ($1000), grinder w/ blades ($250), mixer w/ paddle ($150), trowels ($200), sponges ($25), miscellaneous hand tools ($100), and basic woodworking tools if you want to work around trim ($500). Maybe a rotohammer w/ tile blade ($600 or so) if you are routinely blasting out old tile floors. There's a business you can run out of a hatchback, and you're only down a few thousand, instead of starting in tens or more likely hundreds of thousands of dollars of non-dischargeable debt.

    4. "Everyone deserves a bit of the apple," says 7:43. I deserve to play for the NFL. But not gonna happen. They have standards and so should the legal profession.

    5. 7:43, what was/is your particular area of practice?


    6. So basically, 7:43, you get your 1500.00-2000.00 retainer up front, we get that. As a percentage, how many of your clients have the kinda pockets to refresh that retainer as we approach trial? Or do you just churn and burn? Inquiring minds wanna know!

  8. If you can't figure out taking $100k+ in student loans for a law degree from a shit school is a bad idea, you aren't smart enough to represent people in legal matters.

  9. —— The reality is that if one ABA school gets a passage rate that is above the state average, another one will be below it.

    Idiots. Look at the following:


    The average is 10. Four of the items are above the average, but only one is below.

    People who don't know what an average is shouldn't be teaching anything more intellectually taxing than underwater basketweaving.

  10. 7:43-infantile name calling isn't going to change the facts; you post the same thing again and again and again yet still pay no attention to the facts.
    FACTS: For the class of 2015, per the ABA's inflated numbers, of a class of 147 students, only 38% of FAMU grads had long term JD required jobs.
    For the July 2016 Florida Bar exam, 52% of test takers from FAMU passed.
    Per FAMU's own numbers, the COA for an OOS student is $61,075; IS is $41,000(
    In summary, a FAMU grad from OS is likely to graduate with debt approaching 200K; s/he has a 50% chance of flunking the Bar, and only a 38% chance of getting a lawyer job.
    But you don't care about the facts; you've got a scam to sell-the facts be damned.

    1. Clearly 7:43 is a troll with no apparent real practice experience. Given that, I give thanks; he performs, knowingly or unknowingly, a public service by eliciting anti-law school commentary which effectively warns the kids.

      He is actually doing a public good here.

  11. All we need is to dumb down the bar. More lawyers, that is all we need. As for diversity, I have two African American friends that are superb lawyers. Are these profs saying African Americans are too dumb to pass the bar as it exists? That is so untrue.

    1. I am fortunate to practice in a jurisdiction that embraces lawyers and judges of all stripes. The AA lawyers and judges I appear with everyday attended Top Tier schools and passed the bar years ago. To set up a lowly "remedial" for profit school like Arizona Summitt or any other Unranked school in the name of diversity would be insulting. Kind of like saying, let's set up a separate school?


    On September 28, 2016, "dupednontraditional" posted an OTLSS piece that was entitled 'The Bar Exam and "Math."' Look at this exposition:

    "Shots were fired over a year ago as to this topic. On the one side was Dean Allard of Brooklyn Law School, leading the charge - "the bar exam is too hard! It's unfair!" On the other side was the NCBE - "current students are 'less able'! Buckle down!" If anyone should be on the side of mathematical analytics, is would be Bloomberg.

    As is often the case in many things, the truth is likely somewhere in the middle. Given my own participation in the debate over the years and my own leanings, it is safe to say I am still in the scamblog camp - this is, I believe the charges of bar exam difficulty are heavily weighted in the "hey, this affects my livelihood so stop looking at the data so hard" direction, not the more-politically-palatable proclamation that "diversity is super-important, how dare you try to interfere with that using an arbitrary test" direction. When the Law School Cartel has gone from laughingly-dismissing the scambloggers to calling them demons over the years, especially in the face of falling bar passage rates, I get a bit cynical. Then again, I am a product of the self-same system, so the Cartel reaps what the Cartel sows, I guess.

    That said, let's talk about the major rejoinders from the Cartel, and what I find to be a fascinating debate over at the Faculty Lounge. Per my reading, they fall into three basic categories:

    -more below the fold-

    (1) Bar passage rates have a numerator (student ability) AND a denominator (test difficulty). Scambloggers say it is the former, we, the learned academics, say it is the latter.

    (2) The bar exam does not properly measure or reflect the aptitudes necessary to be a successful lawyer.

    (3) Various State Bars have been hiking difficulty either intentionally or unintentionally, but the fact remains."

    Of course, the $elf-intere$ted law school pigs want lower standards to the bar. After all, they KNOWINGLY admit dumber students each year. They like getting their filthy hooves on big-ass bags of federal student loan money. For years, they have not concerned themselves with their graduates' outcomes. However, the swine realize that even more will avoid law school - if it is seen as obscenely expensive AND may not lead to a law license. Hence, the crocodile tears and ostensible outrage. You NEVER see these academic thieves get upset over the fact that THOUSANDS of law grads each year are left in financial ruin, as a result of their choice to attend a garbage law school.


    From the Comments section:

    "Law School Transparency [LST] and their blog denizens have not focused on the real cause both of lower bar passage rates and the paucity of minority lawyers – unreasonable bar passage standards. State Supreme Courts have provided state bar associations with unbridled discretion to continue to ratchet up bar passage standards without demanding evidence-based data that doing so is either necessary or that it will result in greater consumer protection or better overall public policy. Look at California. The Supreme Court has permitted the State Bar to increase the passage score on the MPRE from 79 to 86 [national mean of 81], and the MBE cut score to 144 [national mean of 135] without any proof that those increases will either produce better or more ethical attorneys or that the public will be better protected. I recently provided the ABA with several empirical studies demonstrating that there is no proof that raising the bar score standards decreases state bar court ethics cases or reduces the number of legal malpractice or attorney incompetency determinations. The California State Bar has produced no data supporting their extremely high bar passage standards. However, those unproven standards have achieved one thing – a demographically unrepresentative bar. The United States Census states that the percentage of Hispanics in California increased from 32.4% in 2000 to 38.6% in 2014. However, according to the California State Bar, Hispanics comprised 3% of California's attorneys in 1999 and only 4.2% in 2011. It is time for LST and other groups to start lobbying State Supreme Courts and Bar Associations to produce data that their increasing bar passage standards are necessary in light of their effect on lawyer demographics. It is time for a reexamination of the competing public policies of consumer protection and increasing attorney racial and ethnic demographics rather than continuing the chorus about law school fraud."

    Posted by: [Cockroach] William Patton | September 24, 2016 at 01:26 PM

  14. "William, I happen to agree that some states do not have defensible bar passage standards. I simply do not believe that minimum competence is meaningfully different in California than in other states, which is what it would have to be in order to justify such a drastic difference in cut scores. I'm not sure where the right place to draw the line is. Neither am I saying a national standard is appropriate. But this is a problem that I routinely discuss with members of the press and at conferences, including at the National Conference of Bar Examiners annual conference. Advocating against unfair cut scores that serve only to protect the interests of the practicing bar are squarely within LST's zone of interest.

    But this sidesteps the point of our criticism of law schools. I'm not sure if you're a golfer, but the best analogy is that we play the ball as it lies. Yes, the LSAT has racial disparities. Yes, the bar exam has racial disparities. We should address those problems without a doubt because our profession has an enormous diversity problem.

    Yet the way to solve that diversity problem is not to allow schools to weaponize the cause of opportunity and access to keep tuition dollars flowing at the expense of students/graduates and better uses of those federal dollars. But that's exactly what several dozen schools are doing these days. We have to play it as it lies. We have a bar exam today, full stop. The bar exam has little to do with who will make a good lawyer, except in one major way: it's required to be a lawyer at all. While that's the case, and while law school costs as much money and time as it does, schools must be accountable for their outcomes. You're advocating for a lack of accountability because some groups across some states have created an unfair system. Reasonable or unreasonable, the barrier remains and ignoring it ruins lives of too many people who want to join our profession.

    If you think we as an organization are a good fit for this work -- and I think we are -- help us find funding. We are still, after seven years, run on a shoe-string. I am the only full-time employee and my wages are astonishingly low by any comparison.

    Or you can continue to lament outsiders like LST and call us names. Your call."

    Posted by: Kyle McEntee | September 24, 2016 at 02:22 PM


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