Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Racial Disparities Persist In Bar Exam Pass Rates: White: 88%, Asian: 80%, Hispanic: 76%, Black: 66%

Following up on my previous post:  Racial Disparities Persist In California Bar Exam Pass Rates: White: 72%, Asian: 66%, Hispanic: 61%, Black: 31%

Press Release, ABA Section of Legal Education Releases First-Time Report on Bar Passage Data:

The Managing Director’s Office of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar released today a new set of bar passage data outcomes for ABA-approved law schools that provides national “ultimate” and first-time pass rates based on race, ethnicity and gender. ...

Under 2019 revisions to the bar passage rule known as Standard 316, ABA-approved law schools must have 75% of their graduates who take the bar examination pass within two years of graduation or face the potential of being found out of compliance. The section maintains both percentage pass rates for first-time takers and the two-year aggregate figure, known as the “ultimate” pass rate.

“During discussions about the amendments to Standard 316, commenters expressed concern about the lack of national data on bar passage by members of different racial and ethnic groups,” said Bill Adams, ABA managing director of accreditation and legal education. “We promised to collect and publish such aggregate data and consider whether the requirements of the standard needed to be reconsidered in light of what we collected. This report is consistent with that promise and will be further evaluated in the months to come.”

ABA Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, Summary Bar Pass Data: Race Ethnicity, and Gender (2020 and 2021 Bar Passage Questionnaire):

The following charts present the performance of the various racial and ethnic groups based on data submitted in the 2020 and 2021 Bar Passage Questionnaire (the “BPQ”). The left column reports the Ultimate Pass Rate for the graduating classes after two years. The middle column reports the Ultimate Pass Rate for the graduating classes in that year after one year. The right column reports the First Time Pass Rate for that year’s graduating classes. The reported information does not depict differences in bar passage rates based on any other background variables.



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