UDC Law and Florida Coastal meet new ABA bar passage standard

Two law schools can breathe easier. The American Bar Association found The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law and Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Fla., to be in compliance with its new rule that 75% of a school’s graduating class must pass the par within two years.  

The schools were among 10 that did not initially meet that standard, which began with the Class of 2017. 

However, both were recently told by the ABA that they are now in compliance.

The determination was made by the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the ABA in a recent meeting, according to the ABA Journal.

The Class of 2018 reached the new threshold, which critics had argued was unfair to schools with large minority student bodies and should be revisited.

Many of those schools are tasked with trying to diversify the legal field. But some of the students come from less affluent backgrounds and don’t have money for LSAT prep or private schooling educations. 

Nearly 67% percent of UDC Law’s students are minorities. For the Class of 2017, its ultimate bar passage rate was 64.06% 

Of Florida Coastal’s student body, 36% are minorities. Its Class of 2017 had an ultimate bar passage rate of 67.29%.

Both schools had said they had taken measures to improve their bar passage rates. It apparently paid off. Schools not in compliance have two years to do so. If not, they could lose accreditation.  

However, some worry that may be even more difficult in the coming years because of COVID-19. Most states have had to alter their bar exam schedules drastically. Some have moved the test online. There is concern that the pandemic could cause even more stress on test-takers. 

Eight schools remain under ABA watch. The U.S schools are: Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Charleston School of Law, Florida A&M College of Law, Mississippi College of Law, University of South Dakota and Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. 

Two law schools in Puerto Rico — Pontifica Catholic University and Inter American University — also failed to meet the 75% mark. 

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