Friday, December 16, 2016
Following up on my previous posts (links below) on the July 2016 California bar exam carnage: several California law school deans have written op-eds criticizing the California State Bar for the historically low pass rate (43% overall, 62% for graduates of California's 21 ABA-approved law schools):
- Erwin Chemerinsky (Dean, UC-Irvine), Does the Bar Even Measure the Right Skills?: "An even more important question than why the results were so low this year is whether the bar exam is even measuring the skills that show a person is likely to be a competent attorney."
- David L. Faigman (Acting Dean, UC-Hastings), It's Not the State Bar's Responsibility to Control Lawyer Supply: "The issue of whether there are too many lawyers is a fair one to ask, but it is not the California Bar's job to control that supply. Such a protectionist motive, if that is the bar's intent, presents substantial policy and, possibly, legal concerns."
- Stephen C. Ferruolo (Dean, San Diego), Time to Adopt the Uniform Bar Exam: "It is time for California to end the carnage and waste by adopting the Uniform Bar Exam and setting a pass score that is not punitive or protectionist but a fair and reasonable test of minimum competency."
- Kevin Johnson (Dean, UC-Davis), Pass Rates Can't Improve If Standards Are Silently Being Raised: "One might expect bar passage improvements in light of the fact that many law schools are expanding the academic support and services available to law students. But we can't improve if grading standards are being changed behind closed doors."
- Jennifer L. Mnookin (Dean, UCLA), California Grads Are Not Less Qualified: "In fact, on the multi-state portion of the exam, California test takers - even including the roughly 7 percent of exam-takers from non-ABA accredited schools - had a mean score several points above the national average."
- Deanell Reece Tacha (Dean, Pepperdine), Bar Exam May Actually Disserve Rather Than Serve the Public Interest: "It just cannot be that a single exam is the answer when it adds astronomically to the costs of legal education and erects a barrier to entry to the profession."
- Michael Waterstone (Dean, Loyola-L.A.), The State Bar Should Help Schools Reach Out to Students Who Failed: "Despite all we do to support our students, like any law school, some of our graduates will not pass the bar on the first try. That is why it is problematic that the State Bar is not providing schools with the names and results of our students."
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- July 2016 California Bar Exam Carnage (Nov. 22, 2016)
- More On The California Bar Exam Carnage (Dec. 5, 2016)
- Who Is To Blame For UC-Hastings 'Horrific' 51% Bar Pass Rate? (Dec. 7, 2016)
- Anderson On The California Bar Exam Carnage: Law Schools Need To 'Cull The Herd Of Bloated Tenured Faculties' (Dec. 8, 2016)
- July 2016 California Bar Exam Results: Nine Law Schools (Including UC-Hastings) Are At Risk Of Failing ABA's Proposed New Bar Passage Accreditation Standard (Dec. 13, 2016)
- Anderson: The Top Ten Myths About the Bar Exam (Dec. 15, 2016)
- Muller: The Complete Collapse Of Bar Passage Rates In California (Dec. 16, 2016)