Paul L. Caron

Monday, September 17, 2018

July 2018 Multistate Bar Exam Scores Collapse To 34-Year Low

National Conference of Bar Examiners, July 2018 Average MBE Scores Decrease:

The national average MBE score for July 2018 was 139.5, a decrease of about 2.2 points from the July 2017 average:


This is the lowest score since 1984.

45,274 examinees sat for the Multistate Bar Examination in July 2018. This represents 2.9% fewer examinees than those who sat for the July 2017 exam, and is the smallest group of examinees to take the July MBE since 2001.


(Hat Tip: Glenn Reynolds.)


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It's a remarkable coincidence that our "descriptor" friend keeps whingeing on about how JD-PhDs are somehow less credentialed than mere JDs. The projection is practically leaping out of the screen - it's quite obvious that "JDs that trained at a top law school, completed an Article III clerkships, and have work experience at a top law firm" is both a self-description and a warning that these ingredients don't necessarily create excellent lawyers either.

Also I'm sure that these ever-lower MBE national scores certainly can have nothing to do whatsoever with law schools taking in anyone who randomly filled in the LSAT bubble sheet because they were going to close down otherwise. Nope. That's pure coincidence; after all, the head of the LSAC itself tells us so!

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Sep 17, 2018 10:29:31 PM

The plummet in MBE scores just so happens to correlate with law schools now emphasizing “practical skills” over theory. Law schools now prefer to hire JD-PhDs with weak credentials over JDs that trained at a top law school, completed an Article III clerkships, and have work experience at a top law firm. It is time for law schools to go back to hiring top legal talent to teach theory to law students. Law school is not a trade school. Obtaining a PhD does not make you an outstanding lawyer.

Posted by: Coincidence | Sep 17, 2018 2:34:26 PM

The increases the last two years in July MBE were probably due to schools using incentives to kick underperforming grads over into the February bar administration. After seeing those results tank, perhaps schools realized they were going to fail no matter when they took it and gave up trying.

Posted by: JM | Sep 17, 2018 11:46:18 AM