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The American Bar Association Should Create a More Meaningful Bar Exam

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 24, 2015

The number of law students who pass the bar has fallen for three reasons. First, some law schools are admitting students with very weak LSAT scores. Weak scores don’t dictate bar failure, but they correlate positively with it. Second, a glitch in the exam software that graduates use to submit the test disrupted (and depressed) last year’s bar outcomes. The National Conference of Bar Examiners (N.C.B.E.)refused to account for a difference between that exam and smoothly administered ones, causing more than 1,000 hard-working examinees to fail the July 2014 bar when they should have passed.

Third, this year the N.C.B.E. added a seventh subject(civil procedure) to the multistate portion of the bar. It's not surprising that the addition lowered scores: The bar exam is a closed book test, and examinees must memorize hundreds of legal rules for it, even though they consult cases and statutes as practicing lawyers. With an additional subject to memorize, graduates had less time to devote to each subject.

Read the whole story at NY Times

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