Nationwide, nearly 90% of 2016 law school graduates who sat for the bar exam within two years of graduation have passed, according to figures released by the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.
The data, which show results for American Bar Association-approved law schools, reveal that 88.57% of 2016 law graduates passed the test, about the same rate as those who graduated in 2015.
The data also show most law school graduates sit for the bar. Among the 2016 cohort, 97% of all graduates had sat for a bar exam within two years of graduation. Schools were able to track 98.5% of graduates.
Among 2016 Maryland law school graduates, 85.35% from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and 85% from the University of Baltimore School of Law passed the bar within two years.
In addition, the overall pass rate among first-time takers declined last year — 74.82% passed in 2018, down from a 77.34% pass rate for 2017, the ABA reported.
The release of data by the ABA is part of a requirement to share bar passage information with the public to help prospective students consider a particular law school or a legal education in general. Law schools have separate bar exam requirements that must be met to maintain accreditation, Barry Currier, managing director of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, said in a news release Friday.
The Maryland State Board of Law Examiners last week released the results of the February exam, which had an overall pass rate of 39 percent.