Monday, October 19, 2015

The Bar Exam Results for July 2015: The MBE Push Back

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The MBE has pushed back again this year.

If you have read Bar Professors tweets and blogs, you know that the average score on the MBE on the July bar exam fell 1.6 points from the previous year, reaching its lowest level since 1988, according to data provided by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The mean score on the July bar exam was 139.9, down from 141.5 in July 2014.

Of course, the NCBE doesn’t blame the test but the law students. The pile-on has begun with deans and law professors all blaming the students that they created. Fearing for their own jobs, the deans and law professors are saying that they’ve been admitting students with lower qualifications who then fail the bar exam. It seems like it’s a problem the law schools have created, however, it’s this author’s opinion that the teaching at law schools is the real culprit.

In speaking with students, they feel the test is harder because this is the first July when Civil Procedure has been tested in “mass” numbers. The NCBE, however, disputes this assessment, saying that the students did poorly across the board in all 7 subjects.

Whatever created this problem, we do know that performance on the bar exam has continued to dip down to levels we have never seen and it appears that this is not an aberration, but a new realty.

Here are the changes in overall bar pass rate, from July 2014 over July 2015, for some of the states already reported.

Florida, -2 points (July 2014 – 71%; July 2015: 68.9%)
Kansas, -3 points (July 2014: 79%; July 2015: 76%)
Mississippi, -27 points (July 2014: 78%; July 2015: 51%)
Missouri, -1 point (July 2014: 85%; July 2015: 84%)
Montana, -2 points (July 2014: 64%; July 2015: 62%)
New Mexico, -12 points (July 2014: 84%; July 2015: 72%)
North Carolina, -4 points (July 2014: 71%; July 2015: 67%)
Oklahoma, -11 points (July 2014: 79%; July 2015: 68%)
Washington, -1 point (July 2014: 77%; July 2015: 76%)
West Virginia, -5 points (July 2014: 74%; July 2015: 69%)
Wisconsin, -10 points (July 2014: 75%; July 2015: 65%)

So far, one of the few states that have gone up, Iowa, is now switching to the UBE starting in February. A mere coincidence? Perhaps not.
Nevertheless, the reality is that you must pass the bar exam. Bar Professors can help you succeed and guide you through the areas that will help you pass the bar exam and begin your life as a lawyer. Don’t wait until you take the bar 2 or 3 or even 5 times – get help now and get the bar exam behind you.

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