New data on the 2021 bar exam from the American Bar Association shows that the passage rate for white first-time test-takers was more than 20% higher than the rate for Black first-time test-takers. That gap narrowed, however, among the “ultimate” bar pass rates for 2019 and 2020 law grads.

The Managing Director’s Office of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar released today a new set of bar pass data for ABA-approved law schools that provides national “ultimate” and first-time percentage pass rates based on race, ethnicity and gender. Ultimate passage rates refer to the percentage of all of a given year’s grads who sat for the bar exam within a given time period and ultimately passed the test.