Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

A first look at July bar exam results doesn’t bode well

Lauren Kirkwood//Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer//September 21, 2015

A first look at July bar exam results doesn’t bode well

By Lauren Kirkwood

//Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer

//September 21, 2015

Although Maryland’s State Board of Law Examiners won’t release the bar exam results for those who took the July test until November, early national numbers are not encouraging — the mean score on the standardized multiple choice portion has reached its lowest level in more than 25 years, according to the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

The average score on the multiple choice portion dropped from 144.3 in July 2013 to 141.5 last year, and then fell to 139.9 this summer, the Wall Street Journal reports. In Maryland, the multiple choice section counts for one-third of an exam-taker’s overall score.

“It was not unexpected,” NCBE president Erica Moeser told Bloomberg Business. “We are in a period where we can expect to see some decline, until the market for going to law school improves.”

About 12 states have released the full results of the July exam, according to Bloomberg Business, and most of them reported a decline in passage rates compared to last year.

From July 2013 to July 2014, the percentage of those who passed Maryland’s July exam fell from 78 percent to 72 percent, and both local law schools saw a smaller portion of their graduates pass the exam. If the national numbers are any indication, it looks like this downward trend could continue.

Law schools grads who took the exam in Maryland this year don’t need to start fretting for another six weeks, though — the Board of Law Examiners plans to release July scores on Nov. 6.


Networking Calendar

Submit an entry for the business calendar