Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Does law school curriculum affect bar examination passage? An empirical analysis of the factors which were related to bar examination passage between 2001 and 2006 at a Midwestern law school
by Rush, Douglas K., Ph.D., Saint Louis University, 2008, 163; 3351879
Abstract (Summary)

Previous studies have reported relationships between Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores, law school final grade point averages (LGPA), undergraduate grade point averages (UGPA) and bar examination passage. Many law schools require that students with low class rank take bar examination subject matter courses in an effort to improve the bar examination passage rates for those students. This study examined all 2001-2005 graduates of Saint Louis University School of Law (n = 828) who took the Missouri bar examination as their first bar examination between 2001 and 2006. Independent sample t-tests and binary logistic regression analysis were conducted using LSAT scores, LGPA, UGPA and the number of elective, upper division, bar examination subject matter courses taken as the independent variables and bar examination passage as the dependent variable. Hierarchical regression analysis was also conducted to determine whether the demographic variables of gender, race/ethnicity, age and full-time versus part-time status were related to bar examination passage when controlling for LSAT scores, LGPA and UGPA.

A statistically significant relationship between bar examination subject matter courses taken and bar examination passage was isolated to subjects who ranked in the third quartile of their graduating class [passed (mean = 9.02, SD 1.52), failed (mean = 8.17, SD 1.87); t (198) = 2.875, p = .004; binary logistic regression (z = 5.6385, p = .018)]. No statistically significant relationships were found between elective, upper division, bar examination subject matter courses taken and bar examination passage for graduates ranked in the first, second or fourth quartiles of their graduating class or for graduates who ranked in the bottom ten percent of their graduating class. Hierarchical regression revealed that age, race/ethnicity and gender were independent of bar examination passage when controlling for LGPA, LSAT scores, UGPA and bar examination subject matter courses taken. The author concludes that mandating that students take more bar examination subject matter courses will not improve bar examination passage rates for at-risk law school students who rank in the lowest quartile of their graduating class.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fowler, Gerard A.
Commitee:
School: Saint Louis University
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 70/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Law, Higher education
Keywords: Bar examination, Ethnicity, Higher education curriculum, Law school, Law school curriculum, Legal education, Race/ethnicity, Statistical analysis
Publication Number: 3351879
ISBN: 978-1-109-08608-9
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