Monday, October 17, 2016

Pennsylvania Bar Exam Results Are the Worst in More Than a Decade

Hello, Quaker State!: On October 12. 2016, Staci Zaretsky posted an ATL entry labeled “Pennsylvania Bar Exam Results Reveal Worst Passage Rates In More Than A Decade.” Enjoy this opening:

“As more and more results are announced, bar exam passage rates continue to falter across the country. As we mentioned previously, Pennsylvania released the results of the July 2016 administration of the state’s bar exam late last week, with an overall passage rate of 69.31 percent. This is down from July 2015’s overall passage rate (71.15 percent), and down from July 2014’s overall passage rate (75.52 percent). But it gets worse…

This is Pennsylvania’s lowest overall passage rate in the past five years (the overall passage rate in July 2011 was 79.81 percent); in fact, this is Pennsylvania’s lowest overall passage rate in more than a decade (the overall passage rate in July 2003, the earliest date for which statistics are publicly available online, was 71.58 percent). This is also Pennsylvania’s lowest first-time passage rate (75.35 percent) in more than a decade. 

How did Pennsylvania-area law schools fare this time around? We’ll break this down by July 2016 overall passage rate and July 2016 first-time taker passage rate, then compare these percentages to years prior and provide some key takeaways.” [Emphasis mine]

The “profession” is GLUTTED throughout this entire damn country. The law school pigs have lowered their admi$$ion$ “standards” even further, in order to compensate for fewer applicants. And, to no one’s surprise, now those waterheads are failing the bar exam at a higher rate. That is something called logic.

Now, scroll down to this conclusion:

“Out of the ten Pennsylvania-area law schools listed here, four (Duquesne, Rutgers, Penn, and Widener – Commonwealth) saw their first-time passage rate increase year over year, and six (Drexel, Penn State, Temple, Pittsburgh, Villanova, and Widener – Delaware) saw their first-time passage rate decrease year over year. 

Penn Law posted the highest first-time passage rate (and overall passage rate), with Duquesne Law coming in second place. In fact, Duquesne saw a 16.96 percentage point increase in its first-time passage rate year over year. Congratulations! But what happened at Widener – Delaware between this summer and last? The law school’s first-time passage rate dropped by 29.31 percentage points. That’s frightening. 

When will bar exam results stop dropping precipitously? When law schools change their modi operandi, raise their admissions standards, and put their students first? We’ve said it numerous times before and we’ll say it again, because it still 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]

For $ome rea$on, the law school swine seem to believe that accepting and enrolling dumber students should not result in lower bar passage rates. Apparently, they want to take in morons without any consequences to their commode’s reputation. It hasn’t stopped the cockroaches from charging outrageous tuition rates either.

Other Coverage: On October 10, 2016, the Legal Intelligencer featured a Lizzy McClellan piece that was entitled “Pa. Bar Passage Rate Drops to New Low.” Take a look at the following portion:

“The passage rates for first-time takers of the Pennsylvania bar exam reached a new low with results from the July test. 

Just 75.4 percent of the 1,371 first-time applicants passed the July 2016 exam, which was administered July 26 and 27. That is the lowest passage rate for any July exam for which the state Board of Law Examiners has made data about bar exam passage available. The previous low was in July 2003, the earliest year for which data is available, when 77.8 percent of first-time test takers passed. 

The total number of applicants also hit a new low for Pennsylvania's July bar exam. A total of 1,574 people took the exam in July, compared to 1,799 in July 2015. From 2003 to 2014, the average number of first-time applicants was 1,809, compared with 1,371 first-timers this July. The overall passage rate for July 2016 was 69.3 percent. 

The bar exam passage rates have been on the decline nationally in recent years. The national average passage rate was 59 percent overall in 2015, and 70 percent among first-time applicants. In 2014, it was 64 percent and 74 percent, respectively, which also showed a decline from 2013 numbers. 

But results from the Multistate Bar Examination created a glimmer of hope several weeks ago, when they showed a slight increase in the national mean score. According to a memo to law school deans from Erica Moeser, president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the mean MBE score for July 2016 was 140.3, up from 139.9.” [Emphasis mine]

How do you like those results, mindless lemming?!?! Still want to take the law school plunge, Dumbass? Now that the MBE results were slightly better, the law school pigs cannot bitch and whine that this portion is “too difficult for our stupid graduates.” Then again, the tramps excel at placing blame on someone or something else.

Conclusion: Avoid becoming another statistic. In the end, only YOU will be held accountable for failing to provide for your needs or those of your family. If you cannot land legal employment, or decent non-law positions, then you have pissed away three years of your life – and incurred an additional $130K+ in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt – for no good reason. Only mental midgets will see that as “good learning experience.” Good luck trying to repay your student loans, as well as putting food in the fridge and a roof over your head, with a $35K a year job, Bitch.


  1. Again, so long as all that risk-free (to law schools) Federal loan money remains so easily available, lower admissions standards and lower bar passage rates (which are related!!), are not unexpected.

  2. The PA bar examination, in relative terms, is not that difficult. I was in the bottom half of my class and passed it without taking a review course. It is not California and yet 31 percent failed it. Scary. Coast Guard Lawyer.

  3. This is not a reasonable depiction of reality.

    We all know that graduating with a JD and passing the bar on the first try doesn't make a competent enough lawyer
    to hang his shingle and practice out the gate.

    Then why so much emphasis on passing the bar the first time around? This seems to be another attempt to divide.

    Just like the jerks that think a T4 JD is somehow different then a T1 JD, even though they use the same text books, cover the same legal material and even take the same bar, in most cases.

    Follow the five golden rules if you want to make it in the legal game:

    1. Graduate with as little debt as possible ( even if it means going to a state school).

    2. Hustle, make connections and look for a mentor.

    3. Never give up, even when it gets tough. No one likes quitters.

    4. Double down on Bar/Bri

    5. Go for the JD/MBA combo. Diversification is key, also as in finance.

    1. Yeah, uh, great stuff there, stupid cocksucker. If you spend three years in law school and take a bar prep course (or even if you don't take a course) you ought to be able to pass it the first fucking time. End of story.

    2. You've gotten lazy in your trolling, 12:35; you just post the same thing again and again.
      But to help out: there are many reasons that it's a big deal to pass the Bar the first time, but let's focus on cost/income. It costs $$$ to take the Bar, $$$ to take a Bar review course, and if you don't pass the Bar, you can't practice law so no income. So flunking the Bar entails a lot of wasted money and time. And you're starting to sound like a lazy college counselor-advising that people diversify and get the "JD/MBA combo"-sounds like a fast food order, by the way-as if these things were free. I guess you haven't started signing those student loan guarantees yet; since your advice is so golden, you really need to get started on that. And serve as a mentor. And don't be a quitter. And shoot for the moon, and catch a star. And diversify. And hustle. And make connnections. And be like Jimny Cricket.
      Did I miss anything?

    3. 12:35, pleas describe if you will your particular area of law practice.

  4. The pigs are in a bind here with the low quality students they need to admit to stay afloat. The legal “education” provided by the pigs is very poor. That’s why the pigs tell us after shelling out +$100k, we need to spend additional money on commercial bar prep courses to pass the bar exam. But learning law in two months from a commercial bar prep course takes a lot of effort. It is not surprising at all that these lemmings with GPAs in the 2s and LSATs in the 130s-140s are struggling to quickly learn the material they need to know to pass the bar exam.

    I’m curious to see how the pigs proceed now. The pigs will soon need 75% of their grads to pass the bar. But they have also consistently shown zero foresight and consideration of the second and third order effects of their decisions. I doubt the state bars will lower their standards or abolish the bar exam altogether. The pigs also can’t afford to become more selective when admitting lemmings because they desperately need the student loan money. The pigs marketing strategies like the imminent recovery in the legal market, or the “million dollar degree,” have also failed to attract more lemmings.

    One option for the pigs is to game the bar exam results. They could follow Phoenix Sewer of Law and require their students to pass a pre-bar exam to graduate. Knowing how dumb the pigs are, they will go this route. But in a few years the pigs will be responding to critics for flunking out students in the 3L year to boost their bar passage numbers. The ABA will eventually step in with more rules.

    The other option for the pigs would be to change their curriculum to three years of bar prep. This would actually be the smarter option for the pigs. The bar exam is not an intelligence test. You can train people to pass the exam. But the top schools are not having problems with bar passage. So the top schools will not change their curriculum. The top schools will dictate that legal education continues on as usual, with students reading lame case books and getting grilled via the Socratic method. I doubt that the Cooleys, TJLSs, John Marshalls, etc will create their own curriculum to help their lemmings pass the bar. That would take a lot of effort from their worthless faculty.

    So most likely we will see more unscrupulous behavior from this pigs to game their bar exam results.

  5. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingOctober 17, 2016 at 5:06 PM

    At the Consumer Reports website, "Consumerist," they reported on a number of restaurant bankruptcies: Cosi, Old Country Buffet, Logan's Road House, and Bob Evans. Why? Simple really. Oversaturation. What don't these law schools and the ABA get? Even dopey GM stopped producing Saturns, Pontiacs, Saabs and Oldsmobiles. Duh!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Passing the bar on the first try..... life is not over if you have to sit it twice!

    You would be surprised how many of our elective officials, (judges, senators, congress men) have taken the bar more than once.

    Even Hillary Clinton failed the bar! (and she is running for the presidency). So do not take one failed attempt of this exam as the "end all be all".

    A better indicator of how good of a lawyer you will be is how you attempt to monetize your JD and realize you are providing a valuable service to the public.

    - customer Experience first
    - multiple revenue streams
    - More minority lawyers !!!

    Thomas Cooley had an inspirational writing on the Law School walls stating.... Attend Cooley and become a "Future Minister" of Justice".

    It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. This is why a lot of older lawyers will discourage you, instead of adjusting to the new times.

    You can still eat, in the legal field, if your willing to hunt !

    1. You will eat much better, for much less debt and work, elsewhere.

    2. If you are doing so well with your Cooley degree and, customer experiences and multiple revenue streams, why are you posting here? I am posting here because I am not doing so well as an attorney out almost 30 years. I am tired of driving a crappy car, using credit cards to stay alfloat, not affording the best health care plans and applying to legal jobs with hundreds of other applicants in the exact same position.

    3. What a minute-you're a Cooley lawyer? That explains everything!

    4. 5:18, what was your particular law practice area again?

    5. @4:39pm

      I think he is posting here to show that not all law grads are having hard times, and to promote hope. There are two sides to the stats, and some people actually land on the good side.

      On the other hand.... with all the issues you are facing, you need to criticize a little less and try harder in life!

      Nobody likes complainers... only problem solvers :-)

    6. 2:59-you mean "me" not "he" right?
      And please note-other than a blizzard of cliches, you offer no substantive advice.

    7. The NEW reality is traffic tickets for $49.00. (See billboards around Chicago) Attorneys used to get %500 or more to appear in court on petty traffics...2500 to 5K on misdemeanors....with a glutted market its down to a hundred dollars or so. That new reality will not support a sustainable middle class lifestyle. There is not enough time or space to represent the volume needed to hit 50K or better at these fees.

    8. Mr. Seton Hall / Team AAMPLE,

      I know you read the comments here even though you don’t respond, because on a previous occasion you insulted a commenter who mocked you before you had your chance to write your usual nonsense. Your style of trolling is lame. You write repetitive comments with very general advice on how to succeed in law (often including factually incorrect information). Your comments always have the same themes. You claim a JD from a T1 has the same value as a JD from a T4, you advise lawyers to “hustle” and never quit, and you conclude with a trite quote.

      If you are going to troll here, come up with something different and much funnier. Hell, the idiot graduates who defended Cooley and TJLS were funnier than the nonsense you spout. Here are some tips for next time. Open by telling us you how you are on law review/top 5% of your class at some toilet TTTT or Seton Hall. Seton Hall would be a better choice, because then you can brag about the success of the career services office in helping land over half the class into state law clerk jobs. Tell us how when you graduate you will hustle and make $100k doing criminal defense and court appointed work. Conclude with how the JD is a “million dollar” degree and tell us how you plan on spending your million dollars. It’s up to you if you want to insult people. You have insulted people in the past and gotten a larger response. But if you use insults too frequently, you could have your comments blocked or taken down. Good luck with your next comment. Make Seton Hall proud!

  7. Why was it so low in 2003?


    On October 12, 2016, WITF published reporter Ben Allen's piece, which was headlined "Historically bad results for students who took the Pa. bar in July." Here is the full text below:

    "The test for law school graduates is presenting a challenge: the fail rate for people taking the bar for the first time in Pennsylvania has hit the highest point in history.

    About one fourth of the people who first took the test in July of this year didn't pass it.

    That's nearly three percentage points worse than the previous high, about 22 percent.

    But the dean of a midstate law school says without a deeper look, the test results may simply be a fluke.

    Widener Law Commonwealth Dean Christian Johnson says the exam may have been harder than usual, the format of questions could've tripped people up, or the pool of test-takers may have been unusually weak.

    He says at Widener, they start evaluating students after their first couple of semesters, and if they don't like what they see.

    "Then we have a conversation with them, explain to them that we're not willing to take their money, and that we think they would be more successful in a different career," says Johnson.

    Johnson says the school subscribes to a test prep service to help students getting ready for the bar, and also offers office hours as well as special events to help them.

    It's fail rate was slightly better than the statewide average, and largely in line with Penn State's Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle.

    There, Dean Gildin says the decline in Pennsylvania outcomes isn't representative of what they've seen among their graduates who take the bar in another state.

    He adds that they're constantly adjusting their curriculum to factor in the best practices for teaching legal material, and adding in content from a changing world."

    Isn't it nice that Widener has a discussion with poor performing students, after taking their tuition money?!?! Of course, the reporter failed to ask "Why do you admit such waterheads, in the first place?"

    According to LSN, here are some of the numbers that will get you into this commode:


    US News Week : N/A [Fourth Tier]
    Vault Top 25 : N/A
    More Law School Rankings Median LSAT: 149
    Median GPA: 3.09
    Acceptance Rate: 65%"

  9. These Arizona July 2016 stats are truly amazing:

  10. That's to be expected. Lots of shitty law schools in PA.


    "Drexel University School of Law

    • July 2016 overall passage rate: 76.69 percent
    • July 2016 first-time taker passage rate: 79.20 percent
    • July 2015 overall passage rate: 72.65 percent
    • July 2015 first-time taker passage rate: 80.00 percent

    Duquesne University School of Law

    • July 2016 overall passage rate: 82.81 percent
    • July 2016 first-time taker passage rate: 91.96 percent
    • July 2015 overall passage rate: 70.95 percent
    • July 2015 first-time taker passage rate: 75.00 percent

    Pennsylvania State – Dickinson School of Law

    • July 2016 overall passage rate: 72.45 percent
    • July 2016 first-time taker passage rate: 77.53 percent
    • July 2015 overall passage rate: 76.34 percent
    • July 2015 first-time taker passage rate: 83.34 percent

    Rutgers Law School

    • July 2016 overall passage rate: 70.41 percent
    • July 2016 first-time taker passage rate: 75.28 percent
    • July 2015 overall passage rate: 70.64 percent
    • July 2015 first-time taker passage rate: 73.20 percent

    Temple University – James E. Beasley School of Law

    • July 2016 overall passage rate: 80.49 percent
    • July 2016 first-time taker passage rate: 82.05 percent
    • July 2015 overall passage rate: 77.39 percent
    • July 2015 first-time taker passage rate: 82.46 percent

    University of Pennsylvania Law School

    • July 2016 overall passage rate: 98.04 percent
    • July 2016 first-time taker passage rate: 98.00 percent
    • July 2015 overall passage rate: 94.44 percent
    • July 2015 first-time taker passage rate: 94.44 percent”

  12. “University of Pittsburgh School of Law

    • July 2016 overall passage rate: 70.27 percent
    • July 2016 first-time taker passage rate: 76.34 percent
    • July 2015 overall passage rate: 75.78 percent
    • July 2015 first-time taker passage rate: 79.61 percent

    Villanova University School of Law

    • July 2016 overall passage rate: 79.55 percent
    • July 2016 first-time taker passage rate: 81.15 percent
    • July 2015 overall passage rate: 81.48 percent
    • July 2015 first-time taker passage rate: 84.31 percent

    Widener University, Commonwealth Law School

    • July 2016 overall passage rate: 67.86 percent
    • July 2016 first-time taker passage rate: 78.57 percent
    • July 2015 overall passage rate: 67.95 percent
    • July 2015 first-time taker passage rate: 73.85 percent

    Widener University, Delaware Law School

    • July 2016 overall passage rate: 42.59 percent
    • July 2016 first-time taker passage rate: 45.16 percent
    • July 2015 overall passage rate: 62.50 percent
    • July 2015 first-time taker passage rate: 74.47 percent"

    As you can see, the University of Pennsylvania grads did extremely well on the Pennsylvania Bar Exam. First-time passage rate of 98.04% for July 2016, as well as an even 98.0% on the February 2016 test. Apparently, the bar exam is not too difficult for those men and women. Sadly, morons will continue to enroll in trash pits such as Widener, Dickinson, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and Drexel. After all, some people need to learn for themselves whether incurring an additional $157,812.84 in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt – for a toilet paper law degree – is a good investment.

  13. I ran "Drexel" through Google translate, and the result in English was "Don't Go!!!"

    1. I ran Touro through Google Translate and it came back ROTFLMAO.

  14. former admissions guyOctober 21, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    TTT law degrees aren't worth the paper they're printed on.

    1. Why not? Don't T4 and T1 schools use the same text books, study the same material and sit for the same bar exams?

      Just because someone scored higher on a standardized exam does not make them smarter... especially if we hold an equal JD ??

    2. he using some kind of 'robo-troll' app or software?' I get the feeling this guy is dealing out latte's at the counter while his device spews this garbage forth...

    3. 6:26 AM: Perhaps not smarter in the real sense, but certainly in the perceived sense.

      Whether you like this reality or not, the JD at the University of Michigan is not the same JD as that from third-tier toilet Wayne State just an hour away. It's not. With the exact-same first-time bar-pass score, the typical UM grad is outta here and on his /her way to NYC biglaw, federal judicial clerkship, or the like. On the other hand, at Wayne, better be top five people or so in the class to get hose results. See how this works?

      Big difference in jd's, my bruthuh.

    4. Intelligence doesn't mean much without training and opportunity.

      For centuries, the system refused to allow minorities and women to have training, to have opportunity, to have resources. Instead, the establishment just claimed these groups were just too stupid. They'd allow a few tokens in, with everything rigged against them, just to point and laugh and justify their sexism and racism.

      Nowadays, it's harder to pass that off. So the breakdown is along class lines. The elite women and elite minorities slide right into those positions, and those down the line will never get the chance.

      It's not like law even requires that much intelligence. The system is setup by mediocre intellects, it's pure government bureaucracy. You either know the simple tricks and have access to the resources and are given a favorable light, or you aren't.

      Nobody is going to be able to break in without the establishment accepting them. If you go to a lower ranked school, and you don't have those connections, you're just not going to get a shot, and especially as the years go by, the worse behind you will be, and the dimmer that chance gets. There is a trajectory, you don't just start at mid-law, you start with a clerkship or big law and then work your way to mid-law. And that's only if everything goes right.


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