McGeorge School of Law celebrates its highest California bar exam pass rate in 25 Years
University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law and its recent graduates are celebrating the law school’s highest first-time bar pass rate since the mid-1990s. 86% of the law school’s first-time takers passed the October California Bar exam.
McGeorge's rate surpassed the average first-time pass rate for graduates from all California ABA-Approved law schools, which was 84%, and from all out-of-state ABA law schools, which was 77%.
"Our graduates dealt with unimaginable stress this year as the date for the exam was pushed back because of COVID-19, and they had to adapt to a new remote test format," said Michael Hunter Schwartz, Dean of McGeorge School of Law. "I am so proud they rose to meet these challenges with jaw-dropping grace and determination. We are lucky to call them graduates and now colleagues in the legal profession, and I am grateful to the faculty and staff who supported their efforts."
The last three bar exams have yielded a marked improvement in McGeorge’s pass rate on the California Bar Examination. For the July 2018 exam, the school's pass rate was 50%, and the law school’s pass rate for the July 2019 exam was 63%.
McGeorge created specific programs to assist its students on the bar exam. Those programs include the Bar Exam Attack Track (BEAT) program, a supplemental bar review program offered to graduates that creates opportunities for simulated practice, written feedback, and individual counseling. For the October exam, the pass rate for students who participated in the BEAT Program was 89%. Additionally, the school recently created, with financial support from a McGeorge alumnus, the Bar Incentive Program, which provides a $500 reimbursement to every student who implements all the bar pass strategies the law school recommends. Since implementing this program, participating students have consistently outperformed their colleagues; this year, the students who completed the Bar Incentive Program combined for a 93% pass rate.
Courtney Lee, Professor of Lawyering Skills and Director of Bar Support at McGeorge, said, "Graduates who participate in these rigorous programs consistently pass the bar exam at a higher rate than those who do not. It is our honor and pleasure to work with these dedicated, motivated graduates and watch their skills grow over the preparation period. Every year we end the program with great excitement about what assets they will be to the legal profession and to the public they will serve."