Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Syracuse's Secret Sauce For Its Outperformance On NY Bar: Tougher 1L Curve And Readmit Policy, Mandatory Bar Courses
I previously have blogged Syracuse's over-performance on the New York State Bar Exam: although Syracuse is the seventh highest ranked of fifteen New York law schools, it ranked fourth (89.5%) in bar passage on the July 2016 bar exam, behind only Columbia, Cornell, and NYU (and above Fordham, Cardozo, St. John's, and Brooklyn); fifth (83.3%) in 2015; and fourth (87.0%) in 2014. Brian Leiter reprints a note from Syracuse professor Christian Day, who attributes the impressive results to the faculty's decision after much study to:
- tighten the grade curve, with the result that 8% of the 1L class flunks out;
- readmit a much smaller percentage of those students, because only 10% of readmitted students passed the bar in prior years; and
- mandate that students on probation take eight bar-related courses (including a bar-prep course taught by a staff member hired to lead the bar-prep effort).