Law school graduates “fairly certain” they’ll fail the bar exam

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Mike Sims, BARBRI President

An Answer to the Recent “Above The Law” Article

A headline on Above the Law said, “Law School Graduates ‘Fairly Certain’ They’ll Fail the Bar Exam.” If you’re feeling that way, let me assure you that, based upon my 26 years of working with bar preppers, your feelings are normal. The first weeks of July are typically the hardest weeks of bar study. In early July you draw near to the end of the lecture phase of your bar review course. In early July the sheer volume of the law you have to learn becomes a stark reality. And in early July you get your first real sense where you are sitting on the curve when you sit for the Simulated MBE.

The first weeks of July are justifiably scary.

However, this year there is also good news in the first weeks of July.

Dr. Dave Clark, BARBRI’s Senior VP for Learning (and chief data wrangler), recently completed an analysis of more than 86,000 BARBRI students over the past four years. Here’s what he found:

At this point in July, the current class of BARBRI students has completed more of their bar review course assignments than in any of the three previous years prior (a measure highly correlated with pass rates and overall scores on the bar examination). Also, scores from the recently administered BARBRI Simulated MBE indicate that this current group of students is as prepared and equipped to be successful on the bar examination as any class prior, and significantly more prepared than those who sat for the bar three years ago.

According to the data, the BARBRI class of 2018 is on track for success this summer.

To be sure, the last weeks of July mean there’s more to do. You have practice questions to answer, essays to write and lots of rules to learn. But you have the tools and now hopefully a bit more confidence.

It’s important to remember that every July, in every state, more first-time takers pass the bar exam than not – even in California. I’m sure that will be true this year too.

As Stacy Zaretsky said in the Above the Law post I referenced above, “keep studying, think positive thoughts, and keep the faith. We believe in you — you just need to believe in yourselves. You can do it!”

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