MS achieves worst bar exam results

Above the Law is reporting that Mississippi had a 36% pass rate on the most recent bar exam making it the worst of the states (although S.C.’s results aren’t in yet which you would know if you watch Southern Charm where Craig Conover took the bar three years after graduating – a very risky move).

“Few things are certain in this life, but one of them is that Mississippi will find a way to be worse at everything. After Florida posted a 57.7 percent passage rate for the February exam, Mississippi pulled up and delivered a glorious 36 percent passage rate.”

I guess this is good news for Mississippi lawyers who feel the market is saturated but ATL notes that there is a serious problem in the state with regard to legal services for the poor.

3 thoughts on “MS achieves worst bar exam results

  1. I had entered my appearance in a youth court case in a rural Mississippi county. The clerk was shocked. It seems that in all her years of clerking I was only the second attorney representing parents in youth court. I asked her why did she think that was. She didn’t know. I said poverty. Everyone of the youth coming into youth court are poor. Her lightbulb went off. I can also state that the GAL in the case couldn’t find his way out of a paperbag. He never saw the children, visited the home or participated except to echo the Prosecuting attorney. Youth Court must be turned upside down.

  2. Response from Dean Bell at Ole Miss Law, posted on their facebook page:
    STATEMENT FROM DEAN BELL ON RECENT ABOVE THE LAW COLUMN:
    Dear law school community,
    A recent Above the Law column implied that only 36% of Mississippi’s first-time bar exam takers passed the February 2017 bar exam. That is inaccurate. Furthermore – our students’ first-time pass rate for the year was 72.6%.
    The ATL article stated that only 36% of the state of Mississippi takers passed the February bar exam, compared to Florida’s 57.7% pass rate. The article compares apples to oranges. Florida’s 57.7% pass rate was for first-time takers. Mississippi’s first-time pass rate for February 2017 was also 57.7%. Thirty-six percent was the overall pass rate, which included almost as many retakers as first-time takers. And for UM Law first-time takers, the pass rate was 60%.
    Furthermore, the Mississippi February bar numbers are small — 87 takers. The best annual comparison for small population states like Mississippi is to look at the year’s total.
    For the 2016-17 year, Mississippi’s pass rate for all first-time takers was 66.7%. AND OUR STUDENTS’ PASS RATE FOR THE YEAR WAS 72.6%. While this is lower than our traditional pass rate and we want to improve it, it is a far cry from 36%.
    In contrast to most law schools, the University of Mississippi has not lowered admissions standards, as the author of the ATL article speculates. We have great confidence in our students’ abilities and are proud of their accomplishments.
    Debbie Bell

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