At 12 of New York’s 15 law schools, a lower percentage of graduates passed the bar exam in July than their classmates a year earlier. Here’s what the deans of some of those schools had to say about the scores.
“The faculty and I have been implementing extensive reforms involving changes in the classroom, curriculum and culture of the school. We expect these changes to be reflected favorably in future results. Some of the changes are still being implemented. We intend to accelerate their implementation effective immediately. We will be re-examining in minutest detail everything we do, in and outside of the classroom, to assure that the continued implementation of reforms, from evidence-based teaching to curricular reform, is successful.” Harry Ballan, dean of Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center
“As dean, my leadership approach is to think in terms of a multi-year strategic plan, and one of my very highest priorities remains to increase and maintain the bar passage rate. We have also had many successes across all areas of the law school in just these last two years — job placement, building enhancements, our medical-legal partnership and veterans clinic—and I believe that we have a comprehensive Raising the Bar program and an extensive plan in place for future bar successes,” Gail Prudenti, dean of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
“I won’t be satisfied with Cornell’s performance until we achieve a 100% pass rate. And we have taken steps to provide academic support to law students we perceive to be at risk for failing the bar.” Eduardo M. Peñalver, dean, Cornell Law School.
“Under the leadership of Professor Shane Dizon, who joined the Law School in August as our new Director of the Academic Success Program, we are implementing a comprehensive set of academic initiatives during the 2018-2019 year. We are dedicating additional resources, including new program staff, to these initiatives, which focus on equipping our students—beginning on their first day of law school—to succeed on the bar exam. We are confident that these measures will produce the positive results we expect to see from our strong and talented students going forward.” Maryellen Fullerton, interim dean, Brooklyn Law School.
“The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University puts our students on a path to practice. With the largest Pro Bono Scholars programs in New York, more than 20% of our total test takers sat for the bar in February and had a pass rate of 85%–well above the state average of 70%. Like most New York law schools, if not all, our July passage rate did decline and we continue to work at every level to ensure our current and future students pass the bar exam. While we are pleased to see improvement, and the direction is positive, we are not satisfied, and we won’t be until all or nearly all our graduates pass the exam the first time they take it.” Horace Anderson, dean, Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.
“While we are pleased to see improvement, and the direction is positive, we are not satisfied, and we won’t be until all or nearly all our graduates pass the exam the first time they take it.” Alicia Ouellette, president and dean, Albany Law School