Friday, April 14, 2017

February 2017 MBE Scores Reach All-Time Low as Law Schools Keep Admitting and Enrolling Morons

MBE Results in the Toilet: On April 7, 2017, Derek Muller of Pepperdine Univer$iTTTy Sewer of Law authored an Excess of Democracy blog entry that was entitled “February 2017 MBE bar scores collapse to all-time record low in test history.” Here is the full text of that piece:

“On the heels of the February 2016 multistate bar exam (MBE) scores reaching a 33-year low, including a sharp drop in recent years, and a small improvement in the July 2016 test while scores remained near all-time lows, we now have the February 2017 statistics, courtesy of Pennsylvania. After a drop from 136.2 to 135 last year, scores dropped another full point to 134. It likely portends a drop in overall pass rates in most jurisdictions. 

This is the lowest February score in the history of aggregated MBE results. (The test was first introduced in 1972 but, as far as I know, national aggregate statistics begin in 1976, as data demonstrates.) The previous record low was 134.3 in 1980. 

It's worth noting that the February 2017 test had a small change in its administration: rather than 190 question that were scaled into the score and 10 experimental questions, the split in this exam was 175/25. It's unlikely this caused much of a change, but it's worth noting as a factor to think about. And it'snot because the MBE was "harder" than usual. Instead, it primarily reflects continued fall-out from law schools accepting more students of lower ability, then graduating those students who go on to take the bar exam. Given the relatively small cohort that takes the February test, it's anyone's guess what this will portends for the July 2017 test.” [Emphasis mine]

If you are still considering law school, then you may need to undergo some intelligence testing. While it is about as easy to pass the written portion of a Driver’s License exam as it is to get into several dozen ABA law schools, that does not mean that pissing away three years of your life is a good idea.

Do you believe that taking on an additional $150K+ in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt – for an outside chance to represent broke bastards in landlord-tenant cases and custody hearings – equates to good job prospects? Also, even if you attend an ABA toilet and pass the bar exam, you will still be financially wrecked. Good luck collecting legal fees from your trailer park clientele. Does that sound good to you, Dumbass?!

Other Coverage: On April 10, 2017, Staci Zaretsky wrote an ATL post entitled “MBE Results For February Bar Exam Reach Historic, All-Time Low.” Read this opening paragraph:

“Just when we thought that bar exam performance couldn’t get any worse, lo and behold, the national mean MBE scaled score from the February 2017 has reared its ugly head. Last year, the national mean MBE scaled score from the February bar exam was 135, a 33-year low. This year, that same score is 134, which is the lowest in the history of aggregated MBE results. Exam statistics were first aggregated in 1976. The previous record low for this score was a 134.3, in 1980.” [Emphasis mine]

Let that sink in for a moment. Did anyone expect bar exam scores to improve, based on the fact that more ABA-accredited cesspools have lowered their admi$$ion “standards”?! Hell, dozens of trash pits will accept idiots with 145 LSAT scores.

Later on, the article continued:

“Professor [Derek] Muller has more information on the decline in MBE scores: 

In February 2011, just 39.6% of all test-takers had a score of 135.4 or lower. 13.7% had a score in the range of 135.5 to 140.4, and 46.6% had a score of 140.5 or higher. …In February 2016, however, 51.1% of all test-takers had a score of 135.4 or lower, a 11.5-point jump. 13.7% had a score in the range of 135.5 to 140.4, and just 35.1% had a score of 140.5 or higher. 

This is the result of law schools continuing to accept students with poor entering qualifications. Things will only get worse until this cycle ends. Law school graduates unable to pass the bar exam to become lawyers will be stuck with upwards of six figures of loan debt, so that law schools are able to rejoice that they’ve been able to keep the lights on for one more year. If law school administrators are trying to run the legal profession into the ground, then this is a surefire way to do so.” [Emphasis mine]

Still want to take the plunge, with your 2.91 GPA in Political “Science” and 146 LSAT score, cretin?!?! What do you think your chances are of getting hired by a decent-sized law firm, with that weak potential? Many law graduates from Georgetown, USC, Cal-Berkeley, Virginia, and Duke struggle to find solid employment. Not everyone with a JD from those schools lands in a good position.

And you think that you will do better than those young men and women, when you are enrolled at a garbage heap such as WhiTTTTier or Cooley?!?! Are you the daughter or nephew of a federal magistrate or a member of Congre$$? If not, then what sets your ass apart from students attending law schools that are leagues above you? Also, what the hell are you smoking?!

Conclusion: If you are not accepted to a truly name brand law school, i.e. those firmly in the top 6-10, then take a different route. Your employment outlook is limited from Day One of law school, at lower ranked commodes. If your plan is to “crush” first semester and transfer to a half-decent diploma mill, then you don’t have a plan. Hell, ninety percent of the class – including the potheads and alcoholics – is aiming for the top 5-10 percent. By the way, genius: landing in the top decile at your toilet might get you on law review, but most Biglaw firms will still not touch your ass.


  1. Nobody, other than the editors themselves, gives a flying fuck about a stint as editor of the Indiana Tech Journal of Law & Hip-Hop. I edited one of the truly top-flight law reviews, but I still I couldn't find a job other than a federal clerkship.

    Indeed, only the top few schools are worth attending. I explained that years ago. Only sixteen schools see even 40% of the class get the sort of job—Big Law or a federal clerkship—that offers a fair chance of supporting the payments on student loans, and even those jobs typically don't last longer than a few years. More than 90% of law schools are effectively toilets that no one should attend, unless perhaps a parent or a trust fund is paying the full cost.

    1. Old Guy... I believe that many of the Regional Schools are pretty strong when it comes to placing Judicial Clerkships or Big Law, at least in the local area of that School.... or it was that way years ago at least. Its hard for me to believe that has changed all that much...allegiance to certain Temple University in Philly or even Loyola in New Orleans...which today is considered mediocre but in its day supplied plenty of Judges, Clerks and big law associates... those types of schools.

    2. Old guy, maybe the barrier to you finding meaningful employment as a lawyer was your personality rather than due to your lack of academic merit? The fact that you are so focused on the LSAT as the gold standard for admittance to law school indicates that you are trapped in the past (like one applying phrenology in 2017 for example).

    3. And the Journal of Law and Hip Hop sounds pretty awesome actually, so I wouldn't put your own journal credentials above it so hastily. If that journal indeed exists, I would hire its editor over some cooky cutter/generic LJ any day!

  2. “By the way, genius: landing in the top decile at your toilet might get you on law review, but most Biglaw firms will still not touch your ass.”

    It’s not just Biglaw! From my personal experience, it’s also the Federal government, local government, state’s attorneys, public defenders, judicial clerkships, and shit law. I even had law firms refuse to take my resume at legal career fairs! That was before the recession years ago. Apparently, I was the only one of my classmates who couldn’t get a job. Because the next year, my toilet law school bragged that everyone got a job and the average starting salary in private practice was $100k.

    Anyway, there is more to the declining MBE scores than just the lax admissions standards of law schools these days. The MBE is what psychologists and educators call an achievement test. The MBE does not measure intelligence or IQ. Rather it measures the extent to which law graduates have acquired the information taught by law schools. Theoretically, everyone could excel on the MBE if they received a great legal education. Intelligence does play a role however. People with high intelligence, capable of reasoning and solving problems, can overcome deficiencies in the education they received and still score well on an achievement test.

    We all know that legal “education” is a joke. Law schools don’t employ the case method, the Socratic method, and hide the ball because education research has shown those are the most effective pedagogical methods to teach law. There is no research backing up those methods at all. Notice how no other professional schools use those methods. Rather, law schools employ those methods because they need an easy way to segregate the class when grading the final exam to 1) identify the handful of students that legal employers should hire and 2) identify the students who should have their conditional scholarships eliminated so the school can rake in more cash.

    In the past, when law schools could fraudulently claim their graduates were obtaining great jobs, the smart students enrolled. Those students could overcome the terrible education they received and still do well on the MBE. Now that schools have to publish accurate graduate employment information, the schools struggle to attract students. The schools lowered admissions standards to maintain enrollment and the flow of student loan dollars. These less intelligent students are struggling to overcome the terrible education provided by law schools. That is how we have gotten to this point.

    1. And this post simply says it all, perfectly. At 40 years out, I agree to the letter.

    2. I'm not convinced that the Socratic method is insufficiently effective for the teaching of law. I do agree that most "professors" don't know how to use it, and indeed don't know how to teach by any means. In addition, most law students these days are just too damn stupid to learn law, however effective the pedagogy.

    3. The MBE is a memorization test that has very little to do with the actual practice (or even the study) of law. No one should need a "great legal education" to pass it. And no law schools should be teaching for it. A Barbri course should be all that's needed, and the purpose of such a course is far different than the the purpose and contours of a good legal education. The only reason why schools today are teaching and need to teach to the MBE is because they are admitting people that eat their own boogers and need help beyond the standard bar course to have a hope of passing the Bar.

      Hopefully, the schools will eventually be forced to shrink or die. At least to some degree. They don't want to fire professors/admin, so they are digging in. But with the writing on the wall, and the mostly toothless cowardly ABA having at least sanctioned two poorly performing schools, they will hire less replacements as faculty and admin retire and drop off of their own volition.

    4. "The MBE is a memorization test that has very little to do with the actual practice (or even the study) of law."

      I disagree with this. I graduated from Law School in Louisiana and passed the Louisiana Bar by taking a bar review course in Civil Law. The exam itself was, as I recall, three days long with ten subjects...all essays.

      I got a job working at a large New Orleans Firm and learned Civil Procedure, Evidence, etc. as we were trial lawyers.

      A year later I took the Bar Exam in Florida with the intention of eventually moving there. I studied a total of one week given my limited time and passed with flying colors (as I recall, a 158 or so on the MBD)..because the Bar exam was surprisingly easy after working in the law and learning how to put it all together. Point is... I think there is a correlation between the bar exam and practice.... the reasoning and analysis becomes much easier because things make sense after you have actually practiced, instead of being merely theoretical.

  3. AAMPLE grads fit the profile you mentioned and they are trend setting and thriving in this challenging economy.

    It takes more than test scores to be a good lawyer. Nando you good and well know many lawyers that pass the bar on the first try are incompitant, and unable to represent clients.

    You know there is a huge difference between the theory of law and the actual practice, thus theory and test scores only get you so far.

    The challenges that AAMPLE grads endure and overcome make them the prime choice to enter the lion's den of life and excel at the practice of law.

    Don't let anyone stop you from achieving your dreams! Life is to short.

    You have to invest in yourself before others will! The doors will open for you soon enough.

    I promise in court no will care what you scored on the last, and no client will care which law school you attended. They only care about getting results for an affordable price.

    1. 1. You've obviously never tried to find clients who can afford to pay you enough for you to make a living.

      2. If you fail the test the courts won't care because you'll only be there, if at all, after hours cleaning the place.

    2. Your promise is shit. Just like you.

      I got my JD from Ohio State in the early 2000s. Top half of my class. That may not be all that great. But I figured It's still the best law school in the whole state.

      I was in several student orgs. Went to bar functions. Made connections the best I could. Passed the bar the first time. Yada yada.

      The best I could get was a job with a firm where you eat what you kill. Took out $107K in loans or thereabouts too.

      I had given up a secure job making $70,000 in the late '90s for this? Where I had insurance.

      So kids do yourselves a favor. Don't listen to the piece of shit talking up AAMPLE and investing in yourself. The cocksucker can't even spell correctly. He doesn't what the fuck he speaks of.

    3. "2. If you fail the test the courts won't care because you'll only be there, if at all, after hours cleaning the place."

      But, the bright side is you'll be making more than the Junior ADA's in the place.

    4. Dear children and prospective law school students (or is that redundant?):
      Just in case you haven't figured it out by now, do not believe anything which this AAMPLE (& FAMU) doofus says, not in anything since the time he's started plaguing this fine blog.

    5. Throwaway AttorneyApril 15, 2017 at 1:48 PM

      Heh. At least a janitor gig at your local courthouse might qualify you for PSLF. Can't say the same for an IBR dependent shitlaw solo.

    6. Very poor trolling at 3:33. And tiresome. Please go away.

    7. The Bar, LSATs, etc... are just metrics. Imperfect ones, but they do the job better than most think. Sure, there are a minority of people who are intelligent but poor test takers or bad at memorization, or who perform poorly on the LSATs or Bar for other reasons. But they are the exception.

      These are not difficult times. Passage and high scores certainly do not guarantee that someone will be a good lawyer or is intelligent. But more likely than not, they are stupid if they got a low LSAT score or failed the bar. This is a generalization, but I think it would hold true for most.

  4. Ancient Chinese saying:
    Not even Cooley hires Cooley grads.

    1. Cooley law students are future ministers of justice. It even says so on the law school mural, in very large inspiring wording.

      There are officially worst schools then Cooley.

      First the Cooley rebranding gave us some distance from the other non performing schools.

      Unfortunately the other law schools are trying to emulate our open admission policy, but falking short.

      At our prime we had 900 + 1'Ls. We even had an alternative admit program before Team AAMPLE came along.

      Allowing JD weekend programs and satalite campuses only allowed CV Cooley to provide legal training to the masses.

      So Cooley did plenty to aid the legal community.


    On April 12, 2017, the ABA Journal published a Debra Cassens Weiss piece that was entitled "Multistate bar exam scores drop to lowest point ever; is there a link to low-end LSAT scores?" Enjoy this opening:

    "The average score on the multistate bar exam in February 2017 dropped by another point, reaching the lowest level since the exam was first administered in 1972.

    Erica Moeser, president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, confirms that the average score was 134.1, compared to an average score of 135 in February 2016.

    The decline likely portends another drop in overall bar passage rates, according to the blog Excess of Democracy, which broke the news after finding the information in statistics released by the state of Pennsylvania. Above the Law and TaxProf Blog note the blog post.

    Erica Moeser
    Erica Moeser. ABA file photo by Tony Avelar.

    Bar pass rates fell to 58 percent in 2016, hitting the lowest point recorded in 10 years of figures released by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Law360 noted those statistics, published in the March issue of the Bar Examiner.

    Moeser attributed the February drop in MBE scores partly to differences in law school admission patterns. Law school applications are declining, she said, “without a consistent decline in terms of the number of students enrolled.”

    Does that mean that exam scores are falling because of a decline in law school standards? “I wouldn’t say that,” Moeser said. “That would enrage the law schools. I do think we’re looking at different enrollment patterns, and we’re looking at decisions on who to admit.”

    Moeser points to a decline in LSAT scores at the top of the bottom quarter among admitted students. In fact, she says, only one law school in the country since 2010 has both increased enrollment and increased the LSAT score of its 25th percentile students. She declined to name the school."

    I suppose Moeser is exercising tact. Perhaps, she is concerned that the law school pigs will call for her head if she directly states that truth. Then again, anyone with a functioning brain can look at the context and see that "different enrollment patterns" means "lower admissions standards."

    Note what she said:

    “I wouldn’t say that,” Moeser said. “That would enrage the law schools. I do think we’re looking at different enrollment patterns, and we’re looking at decisions on who to admit.”

    She recognizes that the bitches and hags at ABA-accredited cesspits would cry incessantly if she came out and pointed to pathetic admi$$ion$. At what point will someone gain entry to law school by simply being able to read and understand a damn newspaper article?

    1. Check out the “enrollment patterns” at Cooley. This past year, Cooley admitted 86% of applicants. Only 152 applicants were rejected. The incoming class 25th percentile LSAT was 138, that corresponds to the 10th percentile of LSAT test takers. The incoming class 25th percentile GPA was 2.60. From these abysmal numbers, we can conclude that Cooley only has two criteria for admission: 1) eligibility for Federal student loans/cash to pay tuition and 2) no criminal history.

      Employers know that Cooley is a joke. This past year, 21% of Cooley grads were unemployed 10 months after graduation. 4% were employed in “non-professional” jobs. 17% were employed in “professional” jobs. Meaning, Cooley could not even come up with a weak ass argument to claim the JD provided an advantage in that job. The ABA considers virtually any job a JD advantage job, including jobs like accounting and human resources. You can bet that many of these grads in “professional” jobs simply returned to their old jobs. Only 31% of grads obtained full time, long term, bar passage required jobs.

    2. By taking 86% of applicants, Cooley effectively practices open admissions. Probably a lot of the remaining 14% failed to complete the application forms properly, had a criminal record, or were otherwise plainly inadmissible even to an institution as greedy and desperate as Cooley. Since at least a quarter of the class scores no better than 138 on the LSAT, Cooley has no meaningful standards at all.

  6. Cooley...where you can be a potato and be admitted.

    1. The potato was class valedictorian.


    According to this LSAT conversion chart, from Alphascore, a 138 places you in the 9.6% percentile rank. Now look at LST Report for TTTThoma$ M. Cooley.

    What an "accomplishment," huh?!?! For the enr entering 2016 class at Cooley, the 25th percentile LSAT score was 138! Hell, most people could take that test drunk - and perform better.

    1. Throwaway AttorneyApril 16, 2017 at 7:33 PM

      Good news is that the enrollment numbers in crap schools like Cooley and Thomas Jefferson are way down. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, we'll be seeing these fuckers shut their doors for good.

    2. Several years ago, when I gave lessons on the LSAT, I told students that a 150 would get them into some crumby law schools only—and that with a 140 they were unlikely to get in anywhere.

      Now 150 is good for a "scholarship" at a few dozen law schools, and 140 is actually a fairly high score for Cooley and well within the range for quite a few other toilets.

      Indeed, 138 is a contemptibly bad score. I could do better if the test were written in Telugu.

    3. Throwaway Attorney, or we can hope that ABA will actually do something again and put them on probation like it did Charlotte Law. Followed by the DOE cutting off federal backing of loans.

  8. I don't really want to be a lawyer. It really does seem tedious and in some ways kind of stupid. I'm hoping to do some public policy work instead. Maybe get into a think tank or something. Should I go to Temple or Villanova for law school? Which school will help me in my goal the best.

    1. Why incur the debt if you don't intend to practice law? Depending upon your undergraduate degree there has to be a better, cheaper way to get a policy position than to spend four years of your life (that includes taking the bar and passing) and $200,000.00 to get there. Check out a master's program or something of that nature before you take the law school plunge. Go back and read every one of Nando's articles and the comments thereto.

  9. Look at me..I used to teach the lsat (in mocking voice).

    Its an artificial barrier old fart. It not related to taking law school exams, nor the bar, nor the practice of law.

    This is why MANY practicing lawyers have scored low on this exam and they are still successful lawyer.

    Hell, the ABA knows this and has created alternative ways around this, AAMPLE, the other 50 law schools that have alternative admit programs.

    Not to mention for the last few years all law schools can admit 10% of the class without taking the lsat.

    Even now you can substitute the lsat with the GRE at some law schools.

    Soon the lsat will have fate like the dinosaurs out of commission, extinct and gone forever.

    You and nando need to get off your high horse. Because the truth is to

    Take the lsat
    Complete law school
    Pass the bar

    Only takes effort. Its not magic.
    And just like undergrad ,10 years out, no one will care about those 3 milestones.

    I have a job with associated task, can you do it,?? This is
    Where the hustle comes in.

    1. Who are you to give advice? You failed the bar exam, you piece of dog shit.

  10. I’m very curious what life is like at schools like Cooley, the Infilaw schools, or TJLS these days. The schools have constructed classes consisting of people with very limited intellectual ability. I’m also curious to know why these people enrolled at these toilet law schools. The only analogy I can think of is when the U.S. Army adopted very similar recruitment standards to the toilet law schools during the mid 2000s.

    When I went to basic training, I met this incredibly dumb guy. He had a criminal record, but he claimed he was set up. He always fucked up. Like, he couldn’t remember to be lined up in front of his bunk before lights out because he was masturbating or something in the bathroom. So like in Full Metal Jacket, the Drill Sergeants smoked the shit out of all of us. One time I asked him what his bonus was. He said he didn’t qualify for the $40,000 bonus offered to people in his job, because he scored too low on the exam the Army has all of us take before we enlist. He scored in the 30th percentile. I remember hating the Army for letting in a criminal, with low intelligence, who was getting the entire platoon smoked because he was an idiot. But at that time, the Army just wanted the numbers. They didn’t care about quality. The LSAT test taker pool is a lot different than the pool of applicants that take the military tests. But I would be curious to know how someone scoring in the 9th percentile on the LSAT compares to the guy I knew in basic training. And that guy at basic training was not the only idiot I met. I met people who had serious personality disorders who cried and had temper tantrums. I had a noncommissioned officer who was so dumb and such an ass hole, someone seriously asked our superior officer if the guy was mentally handicapped. When I was in Kuwait for the few days of training before we moved on to Iraq, we went to the range one last time. The idiot of our unit actually looked down the barrel of his weapon at the range. He didn’t make it through the deployment. He was such an imbecile and liability, that he was sent home halfway through the deployment.

    Unlike the classes at these toilet law schools, not everyone in the Army was an idiot though. Smart, dedicated, and hard-working people joined the Army too. They might have joined because they wanted to serve, or because at that time the Army was offering incredible benefits (the Army had to offer great bonuses and perks in order to get people to join and go to Iraq). I met many average people who joined because they said the pay, benefits, and pension was better than working at Walmart. The Army was a mix of smart and dumb, hard workers and lazy pieces of crap, mentally stable people and people with severe personality disorders/mental illness. The dumb people and the mentally ill made the whole experience incredibly frustrating.

    But schools like Cooley and the InfiLaw schools cannot offer anything to attract smart people. You have people who have demonstrated very limited intellectual abilities by their grades and test scores. And they have shown extremely poor judgment by attending schools that will leave them heavily indebted and unemployed. These schools have reached a critical mass of imbeciles. That is why I am curious what it is like to be around these campuses.

  11. There are still people interested in going to law school, even schools like Cooley. A man named The-Dude Freek attended the Cooley open house on March 15. The-Dude Freek told the Lansing State Journal, "I don’t want to go with the first school I visit, but I did get a good impression.”

    Unfortunately, the Lansing State Journal did not follow up and ask The-Dude Freek what he was impressed with.

    1. Excellent piece! Thanks for posting the lìnk. The whole state is an economic cesspit.

  12. The problem with our favorite AAMPLE shill is that he thinks that people with very poor LSAT scores just had a bad day. And that occasionally happens, but many of them are also showing up at Law School with comically bad undergraduate GPAs. If you have a 2.6 GPA and a 138 LSAT score, I regret to inform you that you are either dumb or lazy and neither is a good trait to have in law school. Especially since the poor GPA reflects your academic record over the course of four years.

    If the ABA had balls it would set a minimum LSAT and GPA score and if you failed both, no federal loans for you. That however would spell ruin for about 20-30 law schools in this country so it's not going to happen.

  13. "Morons"?!?! Seriously dude, with your cherry picked dataand smorgasbord of logical fallacies, I don't think your in the position to make that classification (unless we apply the "takes one, to know one" doctrine that is). Your arguments are reminiscent of those made in favor of eugenics, where people were deemed unfit due to "intelligence tests" based solely on the the researchers one classist and racist paradigms. If Stephen Hawking took the bar exam today, he would fail too given the scope of the exam relative to his expertise) and clearly he isn't an effing "moron." During my various public interest internships/externships at law school, I was quickly forced to lose any hubris about where I went to law school because my intern colleagues from "lower ranked" law schools often seemed to have a better grasp on the "practice of law," whilst my own work was clearly done by a "student/good test taker." I looked at the classes offered at some of these supposedly inferior law schools and noticed that most of the 2L and 3L classes were aimed at (duh) how to actually be a lawyer (ex. Classes on the negotiation of plea bargains, on pretrial defense strategies, etc...). Plus the reason I may have received a higher LSAT score may have been due to the fact that I could afford to devote myself to studying for the LSAT, taking an LSAT class, etc... while those with obligations such as family perhaps did not sometimes. Your statements also reflect badly on the "profession of law" given that your entitled and ignorant pronouncements are reflective of many of the legal professions worst stereotypes. I hope you are some day able to gain the ability to analyze your behavior in an objective manner, because your mindset now appears to be an extreme overcompensation to avoid what appears to be deep self loathing (something I am personally familiar with too). I think you would find a lot more satisfaction in life, if you refocused this energy toward helping others.


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