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Chapman, UCI Law celebrate high bar exam pass rates

Chapman reports its highest pass rate in school’s history; UCI ranks second in state

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: January 08, 2013 03:05 PM

The law school at Chapman University in
The law schools at Chapman University in Orange and UC Irvine are among only seven American Bar Association-approved law schools in California to boast an 80 percent or higher pass rate on the July 2012 California Bar Exam. Chapman’s class of first-time exam takers represents the highest pass rate in the school’s 13-year history at 82 percent, while UCI’s pass rate of 90 percent is the second-highest passing class in the state, behind Stanford Law.

Dean Tom Campbell of Chapman’s School of Law said that the 2012 class of graduates have made the school proud and reconfirmed that “Chapman Law is on the rise.” “The Chapman Law Students put in a tremendous performance on the California bar exam. They beat the state average by a huge amount” Campbell said. “Chapman’s percentage of passage has grown by 12 points in the past two years, at a time when the state average has risen just two points.” Out of the 157 Chapman Law students taking the exam for the first time in July, 128 passed.

Passing the bar exam and acquiring a law license are required in order to practice law in the U.S. The California Bar Exam, a 3-day, 18-hour test, is considered one of the nation’s most difficult.

"We are extraordinarily pleased that our first graduating class had such a tremendous showing," said UCI Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky. "It reflects not only the high academic merit of the students but also the strength of our educational program." Of the class of 2012’s 51 members who took the July exam, 46 passed on their first attempt.

The overall pass rate for the California Bar Exam in July for first-time test takers was 55.3 percent. California reportedly has one of the lowest pass rates in the U.S.; from 2009 to 2011, just 50 percent of examinees passed the bar. The only bar exam with a lower pass rate during that period was Washington D.C.

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