Friday, October 7, 2016

Plug Your Nose: South Dakota Bar Passage Rates Continue to Plummet

Power Flush: On October 1, 2016, the Argus Leader published a Jonathan Ellis piece that was entitled “Growing number of law school grads unable to pass bar exam.” Look at this beautiful opening:

“In the summer of 2014, officials at the University of South Dakota School of Law got startling news: One in four of the school’s most recent graduates who had taken the state bar exam failed to pass. 

Just a year earlier, more than 90 percent in the previous class had passed the bar, which determines whether a law school grad can practice law in the state. Passage rates with percentages in the 90s and 80s were the norm. 

But that was before 2014. Last summer the passage rate sunk to 63 percent. And this year, for first-time test takers who took the bar in July, the unofficial passage rate is closer to 50 percent. 

The sudden collapse in graduates who can pass the bar exam is prompting fears that a shortage of lawyers in rural South Dakota could get worse. Although graduates from other states do end up practicing law in South Dakota, the vast majority of lawyers hail from the University of South Dakota, home to the state’s lone law school. USD is what’s known as an “infrastructure law school,” which provides a homegrown supply of lawyers needed for the state’s law firms, businesses and governments. 

The decline in bar passage rates isn’t unique to South Dakota. Nationally, pass rates had been falling for several years. But the rapid decline in South Dakota has prompted officials to take action at USD in order to reverse the trend. 

“Frankly, USD has been a bit behind in that, in part, up until 2014, we had no problem with the bar exam,” said Thomas Geu, dean of the law school. “When you’re hitting in the high 80s or 90s, you don’t worry about much.” [Emphasis mine]

You also don’t worry about whether your students and graduates can land decent employment – legal or non-law – upon earning their TTT law degree, greedy pig. Of course, that makes you no different from any other “legal educator” in the country. I guess those who fail the bar exam can now land one of those coveted “JD Advantage” jobs, i.e. positions that they could have earned without a goddamn JD. For $ome rea$on, these rodents conveniently forget to mention this fact when proclaiming the falsehood that “One can anything with a law degree!”

Other Coverage: On October 4, 2016, Diverse Issues in Higher Education featured an Associated Press article labeled “Growing Number of South Dakota [L]aw Graduates Fail Bar Exam.” Read the following portion:

“The percentage of University of South Dakota School of Law graduates who fail to pass the state bar exam has increased from about 10 percent in 2013 to about 50 percent this year. 

The trend is prompting fears that a shortage of lawyers in rural South Dakota could get worse. Most lawyers in the South Dakota hail from the university, which is the state’s only law school.

The Argus Leader reported the South Dakota Board of Bar Examiners’ decision to increase the minimum core needed in order to pass the bar contributed to the failure rate. South Dakota’s minimum score is equal to or greater than the score required by 30 other states.

According to Law School Transparency, the demand for law schools declined nationally during the Great Recession. In order to keep the schools running, administrators began accepting “higher risk students,” students with lower grade point averages or LSAT scores. 

The group published a report last year that stated 30 law schools in 2010 admitted classes with at least 25 percent “higher risk” and by 2014 the number rose to 74 law schools and 37 law schools had admitted at least 50 percent of classes with students considered high risk. 

“I think law schools need to take a look at their decisions to take these risks and ask why they’re doing it,” said Kyle McEntee, the executive director of Law School Transparency.” [Emphasis mine]

There is no shortage of lawyers in South Dakota or any other state, including Alaska, Maine, Alabama, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Missouri, etc. In those counties and rural areas that have few attorneys, there is a good reason for that, moron. Those locales are sparsely populated, and often filled with broke-ass yokels who don’t have two dimes to rub together. Good luck trying to support yourself with that clientele, genius.

Entering Class Info: Head to the LST profile for the Univer$iTTTy of $ouTTTh Dakota Sewer of Law. On the right hand side of this page, you will see the Entering Class Admissions Data Chart. Here are the rancid figures for the cretins who started in Fall 2013, which is the cohort that took the July 2016 for the first time:

25th percentile LSAT: 144 
50th percentile LSAT: 147 
75th percentile LSAT: 150 
25th percentile UGPA: 2.93 
50th percentile UGPA: 3.15 
75th percentile UGPA: 3.56 [Emphasis mine]

Conclusion: Avoid this steaming waste pile at all costs. As you can see, the commode admits applicants with pathetic numbers. Then again, what the hell do you expect from the 143rd “best” law school in the country?!?! In an age of grade inflation, this ABA-accredited toilet admitted waterheads who graduated from college with a 2.93 undergraduate GPAs – and that was good enough for the the 25th percentile of their class! Remember, MOST law students majored in garbage such as Philosophy, History, and Political “Science.” It seems that the bar exam has become sufficiently difficult so that such dunces cannot become licensed to practice law. Have fun managing a small motel, with your TTT law degree.

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