UB to strengthen student support as bar results drop below state rate for first time in years

Law graduates who took the Maryland bar exam in July passed at the lowest rate in nearly 20 years. Sixty-three percent of all test-takers were successful on the exam, while 69 percent of first-time test-takers passed, according to results released on Monday, Nov. 9.

The last time the state saw such a low pass rate was in July 1997, the State Board of Law Examiners reported, according to The Daily Record.

University of Baltimore School of Law graduates, who had scored higher than the overall state rate on the July exam for the past several years, this July scored below the state rate: 60 percent of all UB test-takers passed the bar exam, while 64 percent of UB first-time test-takers were successful. (See chart below.)

A more difficult Multistate Bar Exam – the multiple-choice section of the test that counts for a third of the score in Maryland – has been pointed to as a possible explanation for the decline in bar-passage rates in Maryland and elsewhere around the country. The national mean score on the multiple-choice section of the exam dropped to the lowest level in more than 25 years, according to the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

The Daily Record reported the Maryland bar results on Tuesday (“Maryland sees lowest July bar exam passage rate since 1997”). You will need a subscription to read the full article.

UB School of Law Dean Ronald Weich told the newspaper that the law school will focus on identifying and strengthening the kind of support students need to prepare for the exam.

“We’re reviewing the kinds of assessments that occurred in classes and the courses that are offered in the third year when students are preparing to take the bar exam,” Weich said.

ALL TEST TAKERS

July 2015
State rate: 63%
UB: 60%

July 2014
State rate: 72%
UB: 73%

July 2013
State rate: 78%
UB: 83%

July 2012
State rate: 76%
UB: 82%

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