Paul L. Caron

Friday, September 22, 2017

LSAT, Law School GPA, Journals, Moot Court, Contracts, Evidence Predict Bar Exam Success; UGPA, Clinics, Con Law, Crim Law, Crim Pro, Property, Torts Do Not

Katherine A. Austin (Texas Tech), Catherine Martin Christopher (Texas Tech) & Darby Dickerson (Dean, John Marshall), Will I Pass the Bar Exam?: Predicting Student Success Using LSAT Scores and Law School Performance, 45 Hofstra L. Rev. 753 (2017):

Texas Tech University School of Law has undertaken a statistical analysis of its recent alumni, comparing their performance in law school with their success on the Texas bar exam. The authors conclude that LSAT predicts bar exam success while undergraduate GPA does not. The study also replicates findings in previous literature that both 1L and final law school GPA predict bar exam success.

Going beyond existing literature, this study also conducted more specific analysis of how student performance in specific courses can predict success on affiliated subcomponents of the bar exam; the Article identifies which courses [Contracts, Evidence] have significant impact on bar exam performance and which do not [Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Property, Torts].

Additionally, the Article reports a completely new analysis of whether student participation in curricular student engagement activities (such as journal [yes], clinic [no], and advocacy competitions [yes]) predicts bar exam success.

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Interestingly, an empirical study at my school also came up with contracts and evidence as predictors as well and first year GPA and LSAT.

Posted by: Jeffrey harrison | Sep 22, 2017 10:18:07 AM

It makes perfect sense that undergraduate GPA is not a predictor of success. The easiest majors often have the highest curves while rigorous courses like the hard sciences do not. Then there is grade inflation which has narrowed the spread of GPAs.

That 3.9 GPA with a double major in oppression studies and critical feminist theory doesn't exactly correlate to success on the bar exam, which thankfully is mostly free of politicization (for now).

Posted by: Todd | Sep 22, 2017 9:30:53 AM