Paul L. Caron

Friday, March 4, 2016

A Statistical Evaluation Of Bar Exam Program Interventions

Bar 2Scott Johns (Denver), Empirical Reflections: A Statistical Evaluation of Bar Exam Program Interventions, 54 U. Louisville L. Rev. 267 (2016):

The bar exam seems like a formidable hurdle to many law students. Consistent with approaches at other law schools, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law instituted a Bar Passage Program, primarily aimed at academically struggling students, consisting of three core components – a second year legal analysis course, a final semester pre-bar legal analysis problem-solving course, and a post-graduate supplemental bar success workshop program. This article walks through the step-by-step processes of statistically evaluating such interventions and explores whether such interventions are statistically warranted, particularly for students that struggled academically in law school. Using data over the course of a three-year period, this article finds that active learning participation in the Bar Passage Program is beneficial to students, in particular, those who struggled academically in law school.

Table 4

Figure 3A

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All sorts of selection bias here. The most notable is the lack of LSAT information. Denver is the 67th ranked school in the nation and has across the board student quality that is not in danger of passing the bar. The Denver grads in the lower quartile of the class are superior to the best students at third tier/nonranked schools. This study is not evidence that individuals with LSATs in the 145 range can be trained to pass the bar in high numbers.

Posted by: JM | Mar 4, 2016 7:40:42 AM