The study, which was published in the latest issue of the University of South Carolina’s student-run journal, was penned by Jeffrey S. Kinsler and evaluates which law schools helped students achieve above-expected bar passage results compared to baseline undergraduate grade point averages (UGPA) and LSAT scores.
Essentially, notes the 'Ultimate Bar Passage Rates: Which Law Schools Are Overperforming and Underperforming Expectations' study, individuals with higher undergraduate grade point averages and LSAT scores have better bar passage rates than those with lower scores.
“As a result, a predicted bar passage rate may be calculated for each law school based upon its UGPA and LSAT scores. Once a predicted bar passage rate is calculated, it is possible to determine which law schools are overperforming or underperforming in terms of preparing their students to pass the bar exam,” reads the study.
From 2017 to 2019, Campbell University provided the most value added for students with respect to their ultimate bar passage rate, with Liberty University, Lincoln Memorial University, Belmont University and Samford University coming in right behind it. Additional subsets of earlier bar results data were also included in the study as well as data pertaining to the value added specifically for first-time test takers from their respective schools.
From X (formerly known as Twitter)
".@unc_law had a 92.31% passage rate for first time takers on the July 2023 NC bar exam! That's 1st among all NC law schools! Congrats to those who passed! If you received disappointing results, your score doesn't define you. Reach out when you're ready. We'll get it next time."
“Law school graduates who fail to pass a bar exam end up in worse financial shape than those who decide not to pursue a legal education. It is only fair, therefore, that prospective law students be aware of their chances of passing a bar exam before choosing a law school,” reads Kinsler’s analysis. “Approximately 10% of law school graduates never pass a bar exam. The failure rate is even higher for African-American and Hispanic graduates.”
Per Kinsler, the study deployed a linear regression model to substantiate three main hypotheses. First, it confirms the median LSAT and UGPA’s are, in fact, predictive of a school’s bar passage rate. Additionally, it also indicates these metrics can be used to identify schools that provide value to students taking the bar for the first time or in subsequent sittings, and lastly, there are certain schools have been able to help students consistently outperform their test results for both first-time test takers and those taking the exam more than once.
Overall, Belmont, Campbell, and Liberty stand out as scoring particularly well across the board, according to the data provided.
It is fair to say that these three law schools are adding the most bar passage value to their students,” Kinsler writes.