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Study: Law Schools Admit Those Unlikely to Pass Bar

October 27, 2015

The number of law schools admitting students at serious risk of never passing bar exams is up significantly, according to a new report from Law School Transparency, a group that has been pushing law schools to reveal more about their students' debt and job placement outcomes. The study is built on the relationship between scores on the Law School Admission Test and eventual likelihood that students will pass the bar. While some law schools admit (reasonably, the report says) students with low LSAT scores and high college grades, this is not what is generally happening.

In 2010, the study found, 30 law schools admitted classes consisting of at least 25 percent of students at risk of not passing the bar. In 2014, 74 law schools had such a class profile, and 37 law schools admitted classes where half of the students were at risk of not passing the bar. The report notes that many of these law schools are also institutions where students have substantial student loans, leaving students at risk of high debt while unable to practice law.

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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