Friday October 31, 2008

School of Law Bar Passage Rate Tied for Best in Ohio

The School of Law's results set highs for the decade, eclipsing best set last year.

University of Dayton School of Law graduate Dereck Wischmeyer is a believer in the school's efforts to help improve bar passage rates.

"After studying side by side with (students from) Florida schools, it became apparent that UD had done a great job of prepping my class for not only the multi-state exam, but even the Florida portion as well," Wischmeyer said. "I was always very happy with my experience at UD. That content only grew after realizing how easy the school had made my bar preparation."

The July Ohio bar exam results released Friday, Oct. 31, probably have many other UD law graduates feeling a similar level of contentment. Ninety-two percent of UD graduates taking the test for the first time passed, which is tied for second in the state with the University of Akron. Among all test-takers, UD tied Akron and The Ohio State University for first at 87 percent.

Both marks eclipse highs for the decade that UD set last year.

The state average is 88.8 percent among first-time takers of the summer exam. For all takers of the summer exam, the average is 84.3 percent.

In 2003, the UD School of Law developed a summer Road to Bar Passage program to track students between graduation and the exam, offered study sessions simulating test conditions, and hired a consultant in an effort to improve test scores. Professor Becky Cochran leads the program.

"I am very pleased with the continual improvement of our students in the bar exam," UD School of Law Dean Lisa Kloppenberg said. "The last two years have been our best since 2000. It's a testament to the hard work, dedication and quality of students we attract with our Lawyer as Problem Solver program."

UD developed Lawyer as Problem Solver program three years ago because of student and employer concerns that students learned more about theory than the practical skills needed to deal with real clients. The program, which has a two-year option for flexibility, emphasizes service and applying legal education to solve problems for clients, communities and the world.

The program has attracted the attention of national media and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, The New York Times and The National Law Journal, among others.

For all first-time test-takers, Capital University finished first with 94 percent. After UD and Akron at 92 percent, there's Ohio State and the University of Toledo tied for fourth at 90 percent, Cleveland State University at 89 percent, Case Western Reserve University at 88 percent, Ohio Northern University at 85 percent and the University of Cincinnati at 82 percent.

Capital, Case Western Reserve and Cleveland State tied for fourth place among all test-takers at 86 percent. Toledo finished seventh at 85 percent, Ohio Northern finished eighth at 83 percent and Cincinnati finished last at 81 percent.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.