The Bright Coast

Progressive Thoughts from San Diego Alums on Law, Politics, and Culture

Seriously, USD Law?

Posted by demkid on January 14, 2011

I just was alerted to the fact that the full passage rate statistics for the July 2010 California Bar Exam are now online.  As much as I enjoy bragging about my school, the Class of 2010 left much to be desired.  Out of 259 first-time takers of the exam from USD Law, only 169 passed.  That’s an overall pass rate of 65%, and this ranks 15th out of the 20 California ABA-approved law schools, behind world-class institutions like Cal Western and Chapman University.  It also marks a 13% drop from the Class of 2009’s performance on the exam a year earlier.

So, USD Law, what happened?  I can remember arriving at the school when the Bar passage rate was a major selling point.  Now it’s something that’s embarrassing to talk about.  Was this year just an anomaly (I’d like to give the Class of 2010 more credit), or does this speak to a larger problem with how the School of Law is preparing its students for the Bar Exam?  Perhaps USD Law has just put too much effort into the development of its Career Services Department, to the detriment of Bar prep in the classroom.  Sorry, I crack myself up sometimes…if only that was the case!

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3 Responses to “Seriously, USD Law?”

  1. Anonymous said

    I blame USD for a lot of things. Our pathetic passage rate is not one of them, however. Considering nothing has really changed with how USD prepares its students for the Bar, I would hardly blame USD. Sure, the school can make its students take Crim Pro, Con Law II, etc., but I know plenty of people who didn’t take many Bar classes after 1L and still passed. The Bar courses do more than enough to prepare someone who takes the Bar seriously.

    The bottom line, in my opinion, is many of my peers at USD (Class of 2010) were overconfident and, like law school, didn’t take the Bar seriously. I obviously realize this was not the case for everyone who failed. Some worked very hard and just had a bad day during the week or got unlucky on a few MBE questions. It happens. The number of times I logged onto Facebook over the summer, however, and saw my fellow classmates vacationing, partying, etc. really made me wonder how they were studying as hard as they should be. Obviously, several of them weren’t.

    No disrespect to TJ, but for USD to be a mere 7% above TJ goes much deeper than what USD itself does to prepare its students. It may help those who failed to look at what they did wrong to make the necessary adjustments going into the February exam rather than just point a finger. It beats the alternative: continuing an endless cycle of not seeing their names on the pass list.

  2. demkid said

    Good comment. The Bar shouldn’t be taken lightly.

  3. […] so I can’t compare numbers and try to guess what caused USD’s drop, but recent lackluster Bar performances surely don’t help.  The US News rankings are pretty arbitrary once you get into Tier 2 […]

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