TaxProf Blog

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Syracuse's Secret Sauce For Its Outperformance On NY Bar: Tougher 1L Curve And Readmit Policy, Mandatory Bar Courses

Syracuse Logo (2016)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).

Legal Education | Permalink


Here's an idea, don't admit unqualified students in the first place.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 22, 2017 8:09:06 AM

Anon assumes the 8% of the class that flunks out are identifiable ex ante their admission ("unqualified students"). That may not be the case.

Posted by: TS | Feb 24, 2017 12:29:32 PM