In recognition of its strong record of success on the California Bar Exam, National Jurist magazine has ranked California Western School of Law as number 12 in the nation in its article “Best Law Schools for Bar Exam Preparation.”
The magazine ranked the nation’s 204 ABA-approved law schools using a statistical analysis of data from the 2011 and 2012 bar exams—comparing students’ LSAT scores to bar pass rates. LSAT scores are traditionally viewed as predictors of a student’s chances of passing the bar in the state where it is taken.
The result: California Western’s bar takers did better than predicted on what is seen as the most difficult bar exam in the nation. The students’ incoming LSAT scores predicted a 71 percent pass rate and the graduates passed at 78 percent.
“California Western was among the law schools whose graduates substantially outperformed their incoming LSAT scores when they took the bar exam,” according to Niels B. Schaumann, president and dean of California Western. “This reflects the work done by our faculty and by the Academic Achievement staff. The results are outstanding, and give us all something of which we should be very proud.”
The National Jurist article points out that California Western’s success on the bar “is no accident.”
“We want to make sure our students are both practice-ready and ready to pass the bar exam,” Assistant Dean for Academic Achievement Shane Dizon told National Jurist.
What is California Western's secret of success on the bar exam?
“We have a very robust bar preparation program that starts in the second year,” says Dizon. “Once bar prep is upon them, our students work very hard, they trust the program given its track record and its myriad opportunities for feedback, and they know they’re supported by the entire law school community.”
One recent graduate who knows about that support is Brittney R. Dobbins '14, who was featured in the article as a success story. Dobbins chose California Western because of its strong bar exam pass rate and she took advantage of the law school’s bar prep program.
“The bar prep program was more challenging than the bar exam, which was beneficial because on exam day I had my routine down,” said Dobbins. “I felt I had taken the bar several times already.”
Dobbins was also pleasantly surprised to find that her experience was highlighted in the magazine.
“I am proud and humbled to be featured in a magazine like National Jurist, and receive nationwide recognition,” said Dobbins. “I believe academic success relies on much more than just test scores, and California Western has proven that standardized predictors of success, like test scores, are not as accurate as generally believed.”
California Western graduates passed the July 2014 bar exam at a rate of 71 percent for first-time takers. Our graduates have met or exceeded the statewide average on 12 of the past 14 exams.
For more information about California Western’s bar exam pass rates, click here.