Compared to last year’s results, eight of New York’s law schools have presented with considerably lower passing rates. In 2011, New York based law schools were praised for their significantly improved results, but this time, the first-time examinees who took this year’s July bar examinations were a letdown. The state’s average pass rate lessened to 85%, with New York Law School dropping the most points, from 80% last year to 70% this year. They now fall last in the state’s law school rankings, with Tuoro Law Center four points ahead of them.
When asked about the bar exam results, Dean Anthony Crowell of New York Law was “very disappointed.” He shared that “No new dean wants to come into office with this kind of news. This is not what I would have expected of the school and I know that the school is better than this, the students are better than this.” Crowell was promoted to dean just before the exam this year, after teaching for nine years. Because of this, he now plans on forming a task force, called “Foundations for Success,” that will be conducting a “top-to-bottom review” of the latest batch of candidates.
Explaining further, Crowell says that the 2013 candidates “will have an individualized coaching and counselling plan. That to me is critical.” The schools programs will be re-evaluated to make sure that their students will be able to receive the best “counselling and support as possible.” The New York Law School holds the most number of first-time candidates this year – 464 to be exact. Be that as it may, its dean maintains that the school follows the same standards in the admission process.
Although he has emphasized that “The credentials of the class that just took the July exam are consistent with the class that had the 94 percent pass rate,” Crowell acknowledges that his students’ passing rates needs improvement. This is his number one priority. He also expressed, “I am more than confident we will bounce back in very short order.”
Meanwhile, the City University of New York Law School’s dean, Michelle Anderson, is greatly pleased with this year’s turnout. The school is most improved. Compared to last year’s 67%, the CUNY candidates’ 83.5% helped the school place seventh among the fifteen New York law schools. She is utterly proud “especially since this was the largest class of first-time takers.” Anderson shares that “This year we developed a bar mentoring program for recent graduates that we think made a difference, and we plan to continue to enhance our bar support program for future classes.