This Law School’s Bar Exam Passage Rate Is Dragging Down The Entire State - Home of daily updates

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

This Law School’s Bar Exam Passage Rate Is Dragging Down The Entire State

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Less than half of the Charleston Law School graduates who sat for the July 2017 South Carolina bar exam passed. A measly 43.53 percent of Charleston Law test takers passed the exam, furthering the school’s downward trend (2016 passage rate: 50.9 percent; 2015 passage rate: 57.4 percent; 2014 passage rate: 65.3 percent). A thoroughly disappointing outing all the way around.
The poor performance of Charleston students also pulled down the South Carolina passage rate overall. The state overall passage was 68.29 percent, with the other law school in state — University of South Carolina Law School — posting a 76.22 percent rate (test takers attending other schools passed at a rate of 73.29 percent).
According to the Charleston Post and Courier, the dean, Andy Abrams, blames the fact that this year South Carolina moved to the Uniform Bar Exam for the drop in passing test takers. (Of course, that doesn’t account for why the school’s passage rate has been sinking like a stone over the last few years.):
Charleston School of Law Dean Andy Abrams said the July results reflect a major change in the Palmetto State’s bar exam. This is the first year South Carolina has administered the Uniform Bar Examination, a standardized test that is currently accepted in 26 states and Washington, D.C.
In addition to multiple-choice questions, the UBE includes a lengthy essay section and a section in which test-takers must draft motions for hypothetical cases.
“It’s not a bad skill set to test; it’s just very different from the way bar exams have been in the past,” Abrams said.
Other states that have adopted the UBE, such as New York, actually saw their passage rates increase as a result of the uniform test.
Abrams also indicated that many academically strong students transferred out of the school when it entered into negotiation with the InfiLaw for-profit management system in 2013. Those talks officially failed in 2015, and the school is in the process of transforming into a nonprofit. The law school has returned to the enrollment levels of its pre-InfiLaw involvement.

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