Liberty U Law leads all Va schools

<p>With 100% pass rate on 2011 Va bar exam.</p>

<p>"Liberty is the only Virginia school to achieve the 100 percent rate in the state this year. Washington & Lee was at 90 percent; George Mason, 84.8 percent; University of Virginia, 75 percent; and the College of William & Mary, 73.3 percent."</p>

<p>Of course, this is for the February bar, which is typically taken by people who fail the July bar. Just another fourth-tier school touting a non-achievement.</p>

<p>Ooops - posted before realizing that Liberty had no grads in 2005, since it was not in existence until 2004. I do wish someone would update the lawschoolnumbers site.</p>

<p>Liberty does seem to have a strong pass rate, considering that its students' median LSAT scores (150) are far below those of the other schools listed in the OP (George Mason, 163; W&M, 165; W&L, 166; UVA, 169). zaprowsdower's point is a very good one - it would be interesting to know the first-time pass rates for all VA schools.</p>

<p>A Liberty U press release from last year:
[quote]
Virginia Board of Bar Examiners released their figures this month, and Graduates from LU School of Law passed the 2010 Virginia Bar Examination at a rate of 77.3 percent for first-time test takers, just below the statewide average of 79.8 percent. Of eight Virginia law schools, Liberty ranked fifth for its pass rate for first-time test takers, scoring better than Washington and Lee University (72.7 percent) and Appalachian School of Law (65.4 percent).

[/quote]
</p>

<p>The University of Virginia had the highest pass rate at 90.6 percent.</p>

<p>
[quote]
With 100% pass rate on 2011 Va bar exam

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Wrong. There are two 2011 Virginia bar exams: the main one in July (a few months after law school graduation), and a secondary one in February. The posted stats are for the February 2011 exam -- the July 2011 exam obviously hasn't happened yet. So there is no way to know yet what pass rate Liberty (or any other school) will have for the year. But it won't be 100%. </p>

<p>The February bar exam is much smaller than the July exam. The Feb exam is primarily taken by people who failed in July of the previous year, or who fell off of the regular academic schedule for some reason. Notice how Liberty doesn't tell you the actual number of students involved in that "100% pass rate" -- that's probably because the number is quite small.</p>

<p>February bar exams results are not considered meaningful, because they only involve a small number of students, usually non-typical students. The July results are the ones that matter. The February results will ultimately be combined with the July results to yield the overall pass rate for the year, but since far more people take the July exams, the February results usually don't have much effect on the overall pass rate. </p>

<p>During the most recent July bar exam, in July</a> 2010, Liberty's pass rate was below the statewide average, and it ranked fifth of eight Virginia law schools.</p>

<p>It might be smaller--July 2010 numbers were available. But about 525 people sat for the 2/11 exam. Seems like a large sample to me.</p>

<p><a href="http://www.vbbe.state.va.us/bar/barresultsprint.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.vbbe.state.va.us/bar/barresultsprint.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>OK, saw total on another post--about 1500 took the 7/10 exam. So about one third but not "quite small"</p>

<p>
[quote]
It might be smaller--July 2010 numbers were available. But about 525 people sat for the 2/11 exam. Seems like a large sample to me.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Sorry, your logic is still incorrect.</p>

<p>Bar candidates are divided into two groups: "first-time takers" (who are brand new law school graduates that have never taken the bar exam before) and "repeaters" (who have previously failed the exam one or more times, and are therefore taking it again). </p>

<p>The meaningful statistic -- the one that people care about, and that law schools are ranked by -- is the pass rate for "first-time takers". And first-time takers normally take the bar exam in July. You graduate from law school in May, you cram like crazy for several weeks, and then you take the bar exam in July. That's the norm.</p>

<p>If you fail in July, then you take the February exam in the following year. But then you are a "repeater", and so the outcome of your exam no longer factors into the law school rankings. </p>

<p>The February exam consists predominantly of "repeaters", with relatively few "first-timers". It simply doesn't make sense for brand new law school graduates to take the bar exam in February. You would do this only if you had fallen off of the normal academic schedule (for whatever reason) and graduated in the middle of the academic year (rather than at the end). This certainly does happen sometimes -- but it's not the norm. </p>

<p>So it may be true the total number of examinees in February is one-third of the total in July. But this is not meaningful, because most February examinees are "repeaters", and their pass rates don't count as far as comparative rankings are concerned. Only a small percentage of February examinees are "first-timers", and the "first-time" pass rate is what the legal community actually cares about. The vast majority of "first-timers" graduate from law school in May, and then take the bar exam in July.</p>

<p>


</p>

<p>How many of those were first-time takers who went to Liberty? Maybe five?</p>

<p>We don't know for sure, because the VA bar apparently only releases percentages, not absolute numbers. And for some reason, Liberty didn't mention the number either. But we can speculate.</p>

<p>In my state, about 90% of first-time takers are in the July exam, with only about 10% in the February exam. I don't think this is unusual.</p>

<p>The latest College Navigator stats show 57 JD grads from Liberty in 2009-2010. Let's make the (unrealistic) assumption that they all took the VA bar. So if about 10% of those took the February exam, then that would be about 6 examinees. </p>

<p>Now it's obviously not realistic to assume that all Liberty JD grads took the VA bar exam -- many of them doubtless took the bar exam in other states instead. So that number may be too high.</p>

<p>In any case, it is reasonable to suppose that the actual number of Liberty grads who took the VA bar exam for the first time in Feb 2011 was in the single digits.</p>

<p>Followup to previous posts:</p>

<p>According to Virginia Lawyers Weekly, Liberty University's stellar 100% February bar pass rate was based on a total of **five[/b</a>] examinees. This apparently includes both first-timers and repeaters, so the number of first-time takers was probably even lower.</p>

<p>So the posts above, which speculated that Liberty's reported 100% pass rate for February 2011 reflected a very small number of examinees, were apparently quite correct. </p>

<p>VLW further notes that:
[quote]
The February bar exam results generally fall outside the norm because only a relative handful of applicants sit for the test in February. Many of those are law grads who failed the test in a July session.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Readers can draw their own conclusions as to whether or not Liberty's press release was misleading.</p>

<p>Of course it is misleading. By any meaningful comparison, Liberty is not even in the mix in Virginia.</p>

<p>Even a 90% pass rate on any bar is excellent. 100% is astounding, and I am not discounting their achievement. However, with this said, it is almost irrelevant. Every person I know in law school passed the bar eventually, All you have to do is to take a good bar review course.</p>

<p>I would bet what Liberty is doing is becoming a giant bar review course by requriring a lot of courses that apply to the bar exam and giving a lot of bar review questions in each course. </p>

<p>The problem with both these strategies is that: first, a lot of requirements reduce the courses and skills that someone might want to really have. Secondly, bar review questions don't really develop legal thinking well, as strange as that may sound. </p>

<p>To be honest, when evaluating law schools, I usually look at factors other than bar review passage rates.</p>

<p>As for Liberty's median 150 LSAT vs. other schools in Virginia, there may be a slight corelation between the LSAT and law school performance and bar passage, but it is slight. When I checked a year ago, it was a .2 corelation from 0-1. Putting this in perspective a 1.0 is the best correlation that you can have, thus, .2 is just a slight corelation. This is hidden well since the LSAT counts so highly in the rankings so law schools tend to overlook this lack of corelation of the LSAT.</p>

<p>In addition to offering a class on Virginia Procedure, they also offer an advanced bar studies course. I'd be surprised if other law schools in Virginia, with the exception of Regent and Appalachian, offered a bar review course.</p>

<p>Just to update my research, the LSAC says that the corelation of the LSAT alone for predicting law school performance is between .09 to .51 with a median of about .4. Even with this corelation, there are obviously substantial outliers.
Note: a 1.0 is a perfect corelation.</p>

<p>A recent [url=<a href="http://money-law.blogspot.com/2006/09/california-schools-bar-pass-rates.html%5Dstudy%5B/url"&gt;http://money-law.blogspot.com/2006/09/california-schools-bar-pass-rates.html]study[/url&lt;/a&gt;] of California law schools found a whopping correlation of 0.90 between the LSAT midpoint and the bar pass rate at a given school. The correlation between GPA midpoint and bar pass rate was almost as high, at 0.88. Bar pass rates were also strongly correlated (0.84) with USN&WR peer and lawyer/judge evaluations</p>

<p>The advantage to studying schools from the same state is that they will all be compared on the exact same test. The disadvantage, of course, is that there are fewer schools and therefore fewer data points, although California did have 18 ABA-accredited law schools at the time of the study. </p>

<p>The LSAT vs. bar pass rate plot at the bottom of the page certainly appears consistent with a very strong correlation.</p>

<p>Corelations are tricky things. As you noted there is a strong corelation between GPA and bar pass rates. How about corelations between passing other standardized tests and bar passage rates such as CPA, Certified Actuarial exam etc?</p>

<p>Moreover, the LSAT was NOT supposed to primarily predect bar passage or how good a lawyer one would make. Its supposed purpose was to preduct how well folks will do in their first year of law school.</p>

<p>Damn, I can't type. I meant to say in post 16, "predict "and NOT preduct or predect. I wish CC would allow edits after their 20 minute deadline.</p>