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Of the nearly 2,000 law school graduates who took the Pennsylvania bar exam in July, 71.13 percent have reason to rejoice. The Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners has announced that 1,392 applicants successfully completed the exam with scores equal to or greater than 272 for the combined multistate bar exam and essay/multistate performance. The University of Pennsylvania Law School once again led the pack of local law schools, on the basis of percentage passing, with 94.6 percent of its 56 graduates who took the exam passing. That’s a 3-percentage-point increase from last year. Temple University’s Beasley School of Law led in terms of volume — 222 of its 291 applicants passed for a 76.3 percent pass rate. That’s a significant jump from last year’s 69.7 percent who passed. Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law took a dip, with 77.3 percent of its would-be lawyers passing compared with last year’s 83 percent. In raw numbers, that’s 109 successful candidates this year and 127 last year. Villanova held steady, with just about 80 percent of its 180 graduates passing, for a total of 145 successful candidates. Rutgers University-Camden saw 124 graduates sit for the exam, with 83 breathing sighs of relief yesterday, for a passage rate of 66.94 percent. Widener University’s Harrisburg and Delaware campuses sent a combined 300 graduates to the July exam. Of those, only 54.7 percent, or 164, passed. That’s about a 5-point drop from last year’s 59 percent. The pool of test-takers in July — at 1,957 — was the largest group that has sat for the summer exam in the past three years. Last year 71.8 percent of 1,828 candidates passed. In 2000, 69.9 percent of 1,867 applicants were successful.

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