By Charisma L. Miller, Esq.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Every year in November, law school graduates who sat for the New York State July Bar Exam receive their results. Graduates prepare to celebrate with their families or begin the process of re-studying for the exam while law schools pine over the schools’ overall statistics.
This year, Brooklyn Law School leads the fray with one of the most considerable jumps in passage rates from the previous year.
Ninety-four percent of Brooklyn Law School graduates passed the July 2013 bar exam, placing BLS in a tie with Cornell University School of Law for the top three passage rate in New York.
“Although this year’s bar pass rate of 94 percent was the highest in 25 years, it marks a return to our expected historic level of high performance,” BLS Dean Nick Allard told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “If only it were as easy as pizza over study breaks.”
Allard took over as the law school’s dean in July 2012. BLS graduates that year passed with a rate of 85.5. “ There were specific factors at play,” Allard said of the 8.5 percent jump in the school’s passage rate. “ [O]ur ‘best in the nation’ writing program; the hands-on approach of our faculty, whose course work and one-on-one counseling helped prepare students immeasurably; our Board of Trustees’ focus on jobs and bar passage for our students; and above all, our students’ hard work. The outcome demonstrates what can be achieved when there is consensus about priorities in our Law School community,” he concluded.
While BLS’ increase is significant, New York Law School demonstrated the largest jump among New York’s 15 law schools. In 2012, New York Law School had a passage rate of 70 percent; a year later, the school’s graduates dramatically raised the rate to 83 percent.
"They went in to the bar prep period feeling more confident and having less of a learning curve," Dean Anthony Crowell told the New York Law Journal of NYLS’ financial incentive for students who completed the school’s bar prep program. "We're very pleased, and it's a terrific step in the right direction. I've stressed to our student body we have more work to do to get back to our historic high," Crowell continued.
City University of New York Law School, Albany Law School and Touro College Jacob D. Fuschberg Law Center all saw drops in their bar passage rates. New York University School of Law led all New York schools with a 97 percent bar passage rate.