Thursday, October 27, 2016
Have Fun, TTT Grads: Tougher Bar Passage Standards Apparently Are One Step Closer
Sleep Well: On October 24, 2016, Kathryn Rubino posted an ATL entry labeled “ABA Finally Adopts Tougher Bar Passage Standards For Accreditation – Well, Almost.” Check out this opening:
“We’ve documented in these pages the continued abysmal bar passage rates around the country. And, after being threatened with having its accreditation powers stripped by the Department of Education, the American Bar Association has taken action, by tightening up the bar passage requirements for accredited schools.
On Friday, the ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar passed the tightened standard, but the change hasn’t officially happened yet. The ABA’s House of Delegates must approve the measure, and the earliest time they can do that is in February at the midyear meeting. The earliest the rule change can go into effect is for the 2017 grads who sit for the July bar exam.
The new standard, if adopted, is designed to close loopholes and mandates a 75 percent bar passage rate two years after graduation, whereas the current rule mandates that passage rate over five years. As Law.com reports:
The new rule isn’t a dramatic change, but supporters say it closes several loopholes in the existing standard and makes it more straightforward. It mandates that at least 75 percent of a law school’s alumni pass the bar within two years of graduation—rather than the current five-year period. It also eliminates a provision allowing schools to meet the standard if its first-time bar pass rate is within 15 percent of the statewide average, and a provision enabling law schools to meet the standard based on data from only 70 percent of graduates.
That first-time provision makes little sense for states with just one or two law schools, and allows low-performing schools to meet the standard by dragging down the statewide average with high failure rates, critics said.
But despite the rhetoric about new standard, there may be a loophole to even this tighter rule that law schools are teeing up. As Rick Bales, former Dean of Ohio Northern Law School, notes:
Arizona Summit (formerly Phoenix Law School), the same school that paid its low-GPA graduates not to take the bar exam yet still had an overall July 2016 pass rate of 19.7%, has created a new requirement that each student with a GPA below 3.33 must pass the school’s mock bar exam as a prerequisite to graduating. Theoretically, Arizona Summit could set the mock-bar pass rate at 10%, meaning that only the top-10% would qualify to sit for a bar exam. That would virtually guarantee technical compliance with the ABA’s 75% rule. Meanwhile, 90% of the school’s students would have paid $136,062 in tuition (plus expenses, lost opportunity costs, etc.) for a degree that does not qualify them to sit for any bar.
So, unless a school is completely sure you’re going to pass the exam, they are able to stop students from taking the bar exam (by preventing them from graduating), thereby circumventing the actual point of the rule.” [Emphasis mine]
The swine will take advantage of any possible loopholes. For $ome rea$on, these academic swindlers don’t have the balls to make a living on such technicalities in the private legal practice. Then again, they would be required to work more than 4-6 hours per week, and they would need to produce something of actual value. Plus, they wouldn’t be able to employ the idiotic SocraTTTic MeTTThod on judges, opposing counsel, or senior partners.
Other Coverage: On October 21, 2016, the ABA Journal published a story from Stephanie Francis Ward, under the headline “Legal-ed council approves proposed standard for bar passage rates amid diversity concerns.” Read the following excerpt:
“A proposal to tighten bar passage rate standards for ABA-approved law schools was passed Friday by the council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.
Under the proposal for Standard 316, 75 percent of the graduates must pass a bar exam within a two-year period. The proposal is expected to go the ABA House of Delegates in February 2017. Most council members voted in favor of the proposal; an exact vote count was not available at press time.
With the current standard, there are various ways a law school can be in compliance. One is that that at least 75 percent of graduates from the five most recent calendar years have passed a bar exam, or there’s a 75 percent pass rate for at least three of those five years. Also, a school can be in compliance if just 70 percent of its graduates pass the bar at a rate within 15 percentage points of the average first-time bar pass rate for ABA-approved law school graduates in the same jurisdiction for three out the five most recently completed calendar years.
No accredited law school has been out of compliance with the current “ultimate bar passage standard,” Barry Currier, the ABA’s managing director of accreditation and legal education, told the council.
At an August hearing about the proposal, various groups, including the National Black Law Students Association and a group of law school deans from institutions associated with historically black colleges and universities, expressed concern with how the proposed change could decrease diversity in the profession.” [Emphasis mine]
Of course, you can always count on a few dolts to add in the fear mongering/argument of decreasing diversity in this gutter “profession.” Then again, do you see these gerbils pointing at Biglaw’s paucity of minority partners?!
Conclusion: Keep in mind that this change has not been enacted yet. The ABA cockroaches may decide to scale it back, or to postpone a final vote in order to “study the issue further,” in February 2016. In the final analysis, you can bet your ass that the brunt of this will fall on TTT graduates. The law school pigs will continue to get fat off of federal taxpayers via student loans. Their pay is not tied to any performance results. I would also not be surprised if the ABA gives the commodes several years before compliance, as a way to ensure that the bottom-feeding schools get more time to turn things around, i.e. financially rape more students.