TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Muller: Class of 2014 LSAT Scores Did Not Portend Sharp Drop in MBE Scores

Following up on yesterday's post, WSJ: MBE, Brooklyn Dean Debate Cause of Declining Bar Pass Rates: Students or the Test?:  Derek Muller (Pepperdine), Class of 2014 LSAT Scores Did Not Portend Sharp Drop in MBE Scores:

Derek

[W]e see a fairly significant correlation between my extremely rough approximation of a projected MBE score based on the LSAT scores of the matriculating classes, and the actual MBE scores, with one exception: this cycle. 

That said, we should expect to see declining MBE scores (and bar passage rates) of some kind in the next few years, as academic quality of entering classes continues to decline; and, we should expect bar passage-required employment outcomes to see some (likely negative) effect due to a sharp drop-off in bar passage rates.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2014/11/muller-class-of-2014-lsat-scores-.html

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Comments

The following passage is from Müller's post:

When I first charged it, the projected MBE scores were much higher than the actual MBE scores that arose three years later. (I used the 2009-2010 LSAT matriculant data, for instance, and mapped it on the MBE results three years later, in 2013.) I attributed this to several possibilities, the most significant of which is that repeaters probably significantly drag down the MBE score. But subtracting five points from the projected MBE score lead to an almost perfect match with the actual MBE score, with one exception.


"When I first charged it, the projected MBE scores were much higher than the actual MBE scores that arose three years later. (I used the 2009-2010 LSAT matriculant data, for instance, and mapped it on the MBE results three years later, in 2013.) I attributed this to several possibilities, the most significant of which is that repeaters probably significantly drag down the MBE score. But subtracting five points from the projected MBE score lead to an almost perfect match with the actual MBE score, with one exception."

So, basically his initial theory didn't pan out and so he made an arbitrary adjustment that seemed to result in the fit that he wanted (including the exception he wanted).

In addition to questionable economics, he misspelled "led". I don't usually complain about that from a layperson, but this is a law professor here.


Posted by: JM | Nov 12, 2014 5:19:11 AM

It's been pointed out earlier on other blog that a lot of schools have been accepting students whose LSAT scores were so low that their bar passage rates could not be well-predicted, except for 'high'.

I think that we're seeing just how high.

If you go to the Brooklyn School's report on LST.com, you'll see massive slippage on the 25th, median and 75th percentiles of the LSAT. That suggests simply that they've been admitting worse prospect. And it also suggests that the 1st-24th percentile rage might have dropped quite a bit.

Posted by: Barry | Nov 13, 2014 6:29:32 AM