OHIO Passage of bar shows sharp increase

Cincinnati and Ohio State recorded the highest bar passage rates.
COLUMBUS -- Passage rates have improved significantly at Ohio's public and independent law schools in the most recent administration of the bar exam, the Ohio Board of Regents reports.
The bar exam results released by the Ohio Supreme Court indicate that first-time passage rates rose sharply to 82 percent in July 2001, compared to 75 percent the previous year.
A total of 825 law school graduates took the bar exam for the first time last year. Graduates' passage rates at all law schools rose, with the exception of the University of Cincinnati, which still demonstrated the highest passage rate in Ohio for the fifth consecutive year. Several schools showed double digit increases.
Lowest rate higher: In addition, while graduates from Ohio Northern University of Ada recorded the lowest passage rate for the first-time bar takers of all law schools (74 percent), the passage rate rose dramatically over the 59 percent passage rate recorded the previous year.
Regents' Chancellor Roderick G. W. Chu noted that many law schools had reported an increased emphasis on helping students prepare for the bar examination.
"The results are very important," Chu said.
The performance test evaluates six applied legal skills including problem solving, legal analysis and reasoning, factual analysis, communication, organization and management of a legal task, and recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas.
Support: Regent Edmund Adams, a Cincinnati attorney and chair of the board's performance committee, said the board has expressed support for the efforts of Ohio's law school to improve their bar passage rate and will continue to do so.
"These significant results show how hard Ohio's law schools have been working to improve their graduates' first-time exam grades as well as students' education as future attorneys," Adams said.
"Several law school deans observed that their faculty have increased emphasis in the past year on legal writing and that as these students graduate and take the bar exam they hope to see even greater improvement in bar passage rates. I have not doubt that our schools will continue to improve."
To achieve that goal, Adams says, the Board of Regents has embarked on a series of discussions with law school deans designed to improve the overall quality of Ohio's public law schools and increase the performance-based accountability of all law schools.

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