This month, Law School Transparency, a non-profit group based in Georgia, released a report on legal education in the United States.
The report looks at whether admitting too many “at-risk” law students into law school is the reason that many state bar exam passage rates are approaching historically low levels. The study found that of the 206 ABA accredited law schools, 74 admitted 1L classes with 25% at-risk students and 37 admitted 1L classes with at least 50% at-risk LSAT score rates.
Is there a statistical correlation with low LSAT scores and low bar exam passage rates and consequently, low employment rates? And if so, what does that mean for federal funds provided to law schools through loan programs?
Two US senators have spoken up about these concerns, including Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
We need to move away from a system that results in too many law school graduates twisting in the wind. Putting law graduates in a position from which they might default on federal loans isn’t good for the graduates, and it isn’t good for the taxpayers.”
And Kyle McEntee, the executive director of Law School Transparency, puts the onus on law schools and the ABA to prevent law schools from admitting students who are unlikely to pass the bar.
Schools aren’t supposed to be admitting people who aren’t capable of passing the bar. The ABA has never enforced this standard, and they need to start.”
Change might be ahead for law schools. But what change will it be and who will lead the way? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.