Bar Pass Rates Redux

The February bar pass rate scores are out, and UM's are lower than they were in the summer. But I still hold to what I said last time: Bar Pass Rates are Over-Rated As A Measure of Law School Quality.

(And, I might add, they are meaningless at schools which discourage graduates from taking the bar unless the school is confident they will pass. You know who you are.)

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17 Responses to Bar Pass Rates Redux

  1. richard says:

    On my first day at Yale law, the dean made a speech in which he said that if your interest was passing the bar, the University of Connecticut Law School had a much higher pass rate than Yale.

  2. St. Thomas Student says:

    Mr. Disrespectful Froomkin:

    I hope you are not taking a cheap shot and talking bad about St. Thomas University, but in the event that you are here is my reply (and even if you were not singling out St. Thomas, the effect of your comment directly insults my school).

    Although you may be somewhat correct about the Bar Results being overrated… (most firms don´t pay too much (if at all) attention to the bar passage), your comments about the bar passage being meaningless at “schools which discourage graduates from taking the bar unless the school is confident they will pass,” are offensive and extremely unfounded. In fact, Bar Passage Results are so important, that schools who continuously score very low, run the risk of losing their accreditation. Because this is a possible consequence, some schools are left with no choice but to discourage students who have not demonstrated an ability nor maturity for passing the bar, in order to save the accreditation for the hundreds of students who are (and the thousands of students who already have) investing thousands of dollars for law school.

    A related statistic for you… February 2006, St. Thomas did not discourage nor encourage anyone from taking the bar… St. Thomas scored around 37% bar passage. Last February (2007), St. Thomas encouraged many students to wait for the July ´07 bar… and St. Thomas scored 74% bar passage… above the state average of 70%. Dean Butterworth is the man, and his efforts increased St. Thomas´s bar passage by over 100%. University of Miami scored around 76%. That puts St. Thomas and UM neck and neck.

    Shame on you for making such an ignorant statement. I demand an immediate apology.

    (Hopefully you won´t take the cheap and weak way out and disemvowel or delete my posting)

  3. Michael says:

    Actually, I was referring to the allegations here. Until your rant I had never suspected that this might also apply to St. Thomas. Now I have to wonder.

  4. St. Thomas Student says:

    Mr. Disrespectful Froomkin,

    I will not resort to calling you a liar (namecalling would be juvenile), but your previous follow-up posting sure makes you seem like one. You claim that you “never suspected that this might also apply to St. Thomas,” yet last year you made a posting regarding a lawsuit against St. Thomas for apparently developing a scheme to enroll students, then throw them out after taking their money.

    Although the two postings are not exactly identical, they are sufficiently analogous. I find it extremely hard to believe that you “never suspected” St. Thomas in any way, shape, or form, when you posted your Bar Passage posting.

    Regardless, if you would have actually taken the time to read my comment in its entirety you would have seen that I said even if you were not singling out St. Thomas, the effect of your comments directly insult my school. Thus your reply about who you were referring to is irrelevant, and completely evades the issue of my posting.

    You also said in your last posting that you now “have to wonder.” What are you wondering about… whether a cat got your tongue this time?

    I still demand an immediate apology and so far you have not been man enough to offer one.

  5. Matt says:

    Man, STS, please calm down. You are really making yourself look like a nut.

  6. St.Thomas Student says:


    You call me a nut…. however my friend, you must realize that the mighty oak tree was just a little nut who stood its ground.

    Froomkin’s comments are an embarassment not only to himself, but to the University of Miami as well…Froomkin owes myself and St. Thomas University an apology, but is so far not man enough to do so.

  7. Matt says:

    I’m afraid, STS, that you don’t seem like an oak at all, but rather an ass. When you imagine a slight and then demand an appology it’s you who are disrespectful. And can you insult someone by saying only true things, anyway? Even in the one post where Froomkin _was_ talking about St. Thomas (he clearly wasn’t, despite your rather strange inability to see otherwise) I don’t see that he said anything false. Maybe you should consider if your off-kilter behavior isn’t drawing more disreput to your school than anything anyone else here might have done?

  8. Saint Thomas Student says:


    Normally I would not waste my time with people who lack the fundamental ability to maintain a healthy debate, but you have made so many out of this world comments I must now break it down one by one:

    Matt: “I’m afraid, STS, that you don’t seem like an oak at all, but rather an ass.”

    My reply: Name calling is rather juvenile and quite childish and demonstrates your weakness to develop and defend a comprehensive argument.

    Matt: “When you imagine a slight and then demand an appology it’s you who are disrespectful.”

    My reply: Not quite sure what you mean when you say “you imagine a slight,” but I reckon it cannot have any positive connotation. Regardless, when someone has offended you, it is quite proper and not disrespectful in anyway to demand an apology. Do you think it was disrespectful for the Rutgers women basketball team to demand an apology when Imus offended them? I think not. Some say IImus` comments were only slight, some do not… Nevertheless, an apology was quite proper.

    Matt: “And can you insult someone by saying only true things, anyway?”

    My reply: Absolutely! For example, if someone is mentally challenged-handicapped, it would be quite insulting to go up to him and call him a “retard,” despite it being the truth. There are different ways to say the same thing… one can be insulting and offensive, one will not. For example, I can tell you to please be quite, or I can tell you to shut up. One is proper, one is insulting. Mr. Disrespectful Froomkin should have watched the words he used in order to convey the same point, and not offend other people.

    Matt: “Even in the one post where Froomkin _was_ talking about St. Thomas (he clearly wasn’t, despite your rather strange inability to see otherwise) I don’t see that he said anything false.”

    My reply: A few things here. First you contradicted yourself by say that Froomkin was talking about St. Thomas, then you followed it up by saying that he clearly wasn´t. I will assume that you meant he was not. Regardless, you said that you didn`t see anything false. That my friend is irrelevant whether it was true or false. Something can be offensive to another person or organization whether it is true or false. Even if Froomkins comments were true, they attack the integrity of those schools, including St. Thomas, who strive to maintain a decent bar passage. His comments were unfounded, uncalled for, and highly offensive. If he was half of a decent person, he would immediately retract his comment and offer some type of clarification… neither of which was he man enough to do.

    Matt: “Maybe you should consider if your off-kilter behavior isn’t drawing more disreput to your school than anything anyone else here might have done?”

    My reply: Not true. Actually the opposite has occurred. Mr. Disrespectful Froomkin has conveniently failed to respond to my last posting directed at him, demonstrating once again his disrespect for others, and shows the type of person he really is. Shame on the University of Miami for employing a such an ill-mannered, impolite, and imprudent professor who cannot admit the wrongfulness of his conduct. And shame on you for advocating on his behalf.

  9. Matt says:

    I’m not opposed to using names when they are properly descriptive. I think ‘nut’ and ‘ass’ properly describe your behavior here. But it’s funny that you claim calling names is so bad when you are doing it yourself. And of course this situation isn’t realy in any interesting way comparable to the Imus one. If you can’t see that then it doesn’t reflect well on your intelligence. Also, your reasoning skills are not so good. It was pretty clear, at least after the clarification, that Froomkin was not refering to St. Thomas _in this post_. That’s what I’d ment by the first claim. But, he _had_ refered to St. Thomas in _another_ post. That’s what was meant by the second claim. You knew that he had elsewhere refered to St. Thomas, and it seems that everything he said in that post was true. So, obviously this is no contradiction. That you’d think so again doesn’t say much for your reasoning (or reading) skills. And it hardly seems disrespectful to respond to those who, without basis, demand applogies for perceived slights. Since there was nothing wrong about his conduct he obviously has nothing to appologize for.

  10. St. Thomas Student says:

    I never compared Imus to Froomkin´s comments… what is the matter with you. I used Imus to respond to YOUR (not Froomkin´s) silly comment that demanding an apology is disrespectful.

    And what is this comment about? Matt: “And it hardly seems disrespectful to respond to those who, without basis, demand applogies for perceived slights.”

    When did I ever accuse you of being disrespectful.

    You are quite the waste of time… I do not know what is worse, the fact that I, or anyone for that matter, reads anything you write, or the fact that I take the time to respond to you. Maybe in the end the joke is on me…..

    I am starting to think that there is no person named Matt, and that you are really Mr. Disrespectful Froomkin in disguise hiding under a different screen name to hide from your own embarassment.

  11. Anon says:

    St. Thomas Student,

    Do they teach writing skills at your school? I hope not!

  12. Matt says:

    STS said, “Maybe in the end the joke is on me…..”

    Since we’ve apparently reached a point of agreement I’ll just leave things at that.

  13. phineas says:

    You know, a long time ago, many law schools failed large groups in the 1L class straight out of law school. Remember the old saying: “look to your right, look to your left, one of the three of you won’t be here next year.” Cooley still does this, and there’s an argument it’s a good idea. It gives people (with a low ugpa and lsat) who still want to go to law school a chance to prove themselves. That’s not the same as telling people not to take the bar! He never mentioned St. Thomas in that regard. If some students need a few more months to study, that’s fine. If they just don’t intend to practice law, that’s fine. Otherwise, it’s kindof like cheating the ABA standards, and far more importantly, it is tricking students that apply there. If 63% can’t pass the bar, that’s bad news dude! Save your money! Go elsewhere! Every school like that should work on improving their curriculum, not covering up their problems.

    Anyway, I wish Yale admitted and failed people. Then I might have had a chance to get in!

  14. St. Thomas Student says:


    I always enjoy a nice concession… your comments do not dignify any further response.


    You do bring up an interesting point, but I want to make sure you fully understand what is going on. St. Thomas does not tell people not to take the bar, they offer incentives to wait until the next testing period so as to give more time to study. At no point is a student forbidden from taking any exam (that would be highly illegal under the Rules of Professional Responsibility).

    As such, their actions are not “cheating the ABA standards,” nor “tricking anyone into applying there.”

    The curriculum is not the problem… St. Thomas has more required courses than any Florida law school (I believe the number is around 18). The curriculum is fine, the problem is that when the february bar passage is low, the top 1L students transfer out of St. Thomas. So it is of the utmost importance to assure a good Winter bar passage, or else the 2Ls, 3Ls, and graduates suffer.

    And just so you know, Florida International University (FIU) is the king of pressuring students (or giving financial incentives) to not take the bar… and they had 94% bar passage for this last bar exam. Coincidence? I think not.

    In addition, as I said in earlier postings, a 37% bar passage can run a school the risk of losing ABA accreditation. Thus the school must take measures (sometimes drastic ones) in order to avoid this. Could you imagine going to law school, and then 10 years later your alma mater loses its accreditation making it hard for you to find a new job? (BTW once you graduate with a law degree, even if your school loses accreditation, you do not lose the right to practice law).

    Are you a law student? If so, you should know better.

  15. convert says:

    In several discussions on Prof. Froomkin’s blog, a person has held themselves out as “St. Thomas Student.” I actually emailed the Professor about this student’s rantings about the Bentey (sp?) lawsuit, and apologized for his verbal assault. Some have questioned whether or not this fellow is an STU student: I say he is. I am transferring from STU for many reasons, not the least of which is the school’s terrible administration, its Napoleon Complex, its academic policies, etc. I am ranked in the top ten students overall in the class of ’09, and am transferring to a top-20 law school. STU student: I assure you that I am not Bentey (sp?) in disguise. Frankly, with all due respect to friendly discourse, you are a disgrace not only to the institution, but also to the (aspiring) legal profession. Your overconfidence will make you the laughing stock of whatever legal community you may squeak in to. Again, I post this mainly because I simply cannot stand the fact that this man smears what could have been a descent school if it were not for such incompetent students and administrators (the faculty is, on the whole, quite good).

  16. convert says:

    Oh yeah, I have actually heard that STU discouraged students from writing the winter bar…for what its worth…

  17. Jack Phillips says:

    I went to St. Thomas, and after reading all of this discourse, I just want to tell you that I feel that everyone has the ability to pass the bar, they just don’t know how. It’s like waiting to drive a car until the day of your driving test. It’s that crazy. I flunked the bar 5 times. Then I had a private tudor from Celebration, Florida who told me everything I needed to know. And the test is actually simple if you know what the testmakers are looking for, and frankly, it has very little to do with the law.

    The guy called his company Study Group. And my score was out of this world once I studied with him. Good luck to everyone who needs to pass.

    Once you become a lawyer, then you really need the luck.

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