The American Bar Association Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar is proposing to require law schools to have at minimum have 75% of graduates pass the bar within two years of graduating. Currently, the ABA gives schools up to five years to reach 75 percent passage.
Herman J. Russomanno, who served for over 25 years in the ABA House of Delegates and currently serves as Chair-Emiterus of the St.Thomas University School of Law Board of Advisors, says it is too soon to make this kind of major change. “The ABA Council of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has diligently worked on this difficult issue to toughen law school accreditation standards regarding bar exam pass rates. However, before any drastic changes are made further data needs to be gathered and studied” says Russomanno.
Russomanno, who is a partner at Russomanno & Borrello which represents candidates for admission to the Florida Bar, says the problem is not the proposal but the flawed method used to gather data “The survey conducted by the Council is flawed and the ABA House of Delegates correctly rejected the proposal. Less than half of the accredited law schools provided a response. We also are not certain of what percentage of minority-serving law schools participated in the survey.”
According to an article by Law.com (click here to read the full article), law schools face mounting pressure due to falling bar pass rates, increasing student debt, and the state of the legal job market.
“Until further research is conducted and the House of Delegates concerns are fully answered, the current ABA rule giving schools up to five years to reach 75 percent passage, while providing alternatives if they can’t meet the requirements, should remain in effect” adds Russomanno
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