Are Online Law School Classes To Blame For Decline In First-Time Bar Exam Pass Rates?

684989What we have seen anecdotally is that students with most of their legal education online did not fare as well as students in the traditional modality.

I think the ABA needs to conduct additional studies on the effectiveness of remote learning, and if they have any data on that as it relates to bar passage, they need to release it publicly.

— Associate professor Raul Ruiz of Florida International University College of Law, who also serves as assistant dean of bar exam preparation, commenting on the decline in first-time bar exam pass rates for the July 2022 exam in at least 30 jurisdictions. Most 2022 law school graduates endured a lengthy period where remote classes were the only option they had for school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill Adams, managing director of ABA Accreditation and Legal Education, had this to say: “Students and law schools tackled many challenges the past couple of years. Jumping to the conclusion that online learning has had a significant impact on bar outcomes is speculative at best.”

Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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