The pass rate for the Texas February bar exam was at an all-time low.
Overall, only 45 percent of test takers passed. The previous low was 48 percent last year. Of the 552 first-time test takers this year, 60 percent passed. The 631 who repeated the test had a 32 percent pass rate. The Texas Board of Law Examiners, a government agency that administers the bar exam, posted full statistics on its website, along with a pass list of individual test takers.
The results are disappointing, but not surprising, said TBLE Executive Director Susan Henricks. February pass rates are always lower than rates on the July bar exam, she explained, because there are more repeat test takers, and more foreign law grads who don’t speak English as a first language, who both tend to perform more poorly than first-time test takers.
“I keep hoping it’s going to get better,” Henricks said.
However, the Texas results mirror what’s happened on the national stage. Performance of law graduates taking February exam nationally hit the lowest point in more than a decade, while scores for those taking the exam during the more popular July session have been on the upswing.
When it came to first-time test takers, highest-to-lowest pass rates among the Texas law schools were:
- Baylor University School of Law – 88 percent
- Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law – 76 percent
- South Texas College of Law Houston – 71 percent
- Texas A&M University School of Law – 68 percent
- Texas Tech University School of Law – 67 percent
- University of Houston Law Center – 60 percent
- University of Texas School of Law – 55 percent
- St. Mary’s University School of Law – 43 percent
- University of North Texas Dallas College of Law – 40 percent
- Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law – 28 percent
Angela Morris is a freelance journalist. Follow her on Twitter at @AMorrisReports