Bar prep program proving successful for TU College of Law grads

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The University of Tulsa College of Law has worked tirelessly to ensure its graduates are prepared for the challenge of the bar exam and test results show success.

Law students often do not realize the ultimate and intended use of their newly acquired legal knowledge until passing a bar examination and putting that knowledge to work. For many graduates, the bar exam becomes a first hurdle that can be difficult to jump.

Several courses are provided by the law school to prepare graduates for the bar exam. These courses are part of a larger, strategically designed bar prep program headed by Laura Hill, assistant dean of institutional assessment at the TU College of Law.
December and May graduates are offered free “early bird” prep courses which include an Essay Advantage Workshop and a series that reviews the six substantive areas tested on the multistate bar exam (MBE) portion of the bar exam. In addition, the TU College of Law strongly encourages students to take the two commercial courses – BarBri for state specific substantive review and the essay portion, and Kaplan PMBR for the MBE portion of the bar exam.
A limited number of scholarships toward the commercial courses are offered, and the college currently provides a $250 reimbursement for those graduating students who attend all six days of the PMBR review course after graduation.
Statistics provided by Hill indicate that the bar prep program increases graduates pass rates. On the July 2008 exam, 93 percent of first-time test takers passed. Of the 57 students who took the free course, 97 percent passed. Of those who took the BarBri course, 95 percent passed, and 86 percent of those who took the PMBR course passed.  Students who took all three courses had a 96 percent pass rate. Only one student did not take any of the offered courses and subsequently failed the bar.

As it has always been in the past and still is today, rigorous preparation is the key to success, both on the bar exams and the practice of law. With the continued dedication of Dean Janet Levit and Assistant Dean Hill, the law school's bar pass rate is expected to remain high as new lawyers prepare for their place in society.