Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Following up on my previous post, Nevada Lowers Bar Exam Cut Score From 140 to 138, Pass Rate Increases By 23%: Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial, Law schools, Standards and the Bar-Pass Rate:
Nevada’s decision in 2017 to lower the cut score necessary to pass the state’s bar exam may have ramifications beyond higher success rates. The American Bar Association is currently considering pulling its sanction from law schools that graduate too many students who fail the test.
The new ABA accreditation standard would “require 75 percent of a given school’s test takers to pass the bar within two years of graduation,” The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. The proposal will be considered this month when the association convenes for a meeting in, ironically, Las Vegas. ...
Consider UNLV’s Boyd School of Law. In July 2011, the school’s bar-pass rate was an impressive 87 percent. Five years later in 2016, the number had plummeted to 63 percent. In response, the state slightly lowered its cut score. Voila! The 2017 rate jumped to 81 percent.
Rick Trachok, chairman of the Nevada Board of Bar Examiners, argued that the lower score didn’t make a difference. The increase, he said, resulted from much higher marks on the multistate portion of the exam. ...
Boyd would likely be safe under the ABA’s new standards. But let’s hope that ultimately reflects a more able student body than a dumbing down of the bar-pass score to artificially juice the numbers.