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Thanks to a new addendum to the Pennsylvania Bar Admissions Rules, law schools can now get the names of students who failed the bar exam. The change was made in response to a push by Pennsylvania law school deans for the Board of Bar Examiners to release names of failing students, according to Mark Dows, the executive director of the board. Names and statistics, he said, will most likely be used to make curricular and advising adjustments. The updated code, which was published in the June 2 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin, states under Title 204: Judicial System General Provisions, Rule 402: Confidentiality, “the Board [can] … upon request from the dean of the law school, furnish the law school with names of applicants from the law school who did not successfully complete the bar examination.” Disclosure of the names will occur with the understanding that “the law school has agreed only to use such information internally within the law school,” the code says. Mark Sargeant, the dean of Villanova University Law School, said he believed the addendum to the code to be primarily a convenience mechanism. “We can figure it out, anyway,” he said. “It just makes it a lot easier.” Law schools have always received a list of students scheduled to take the bar and, subsequently, a list of those who passed, and could try to ascertain who failed through the process of elimination. But that method wasn’t foolproof, Dows said, because deans were not able to take into account those students who might have registered but didn’t sit for the exam. Dows estimated that 10 percent of registered applicants on the February testing date and 5 percent on the July testing date are no-shows. In the past, the Board of Bar Examiners had released names and addresses of those passing the bar on the Web as a publicity service — a practice that raised concerns about confidentiality. The board has stopped the publication of addresses and is releasing only names of students to the public.

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