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ASU Law leads in bar-exam passage, average score for 5th straight year

2018 JD Convocation

2018 JD graduates at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law convocation.

November 29, 2018

For the fifth consecutive year, graduates of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University have posted the best marks on the summer Arizona Bar Exam.

ASU Law led the state with an overall passage rate of 74.1 percent, far exceeding the overall state figures of 59.2 percent.

“There are few things more critical for a law school graduate than the ability to pass the bar exam,” said ASU Law Dean Douglas Sylvester. “To lead the state five years in a row is obviously a testament to the hard work of our students and dedication of our faculty. While ensuring students receive a personalized and top-notch education is important, we also believe in investing in their success.”

ASU Law offers graduates free career guidance and support from their Office of Career and Employment Services as well as free or low-cost preferred tuition rates on continued education. The college is ranked No. 19 in the nation for employment at 88.9 percent (American Bar Association). ASU Law also has been ranked in the top 20 for five consecutive years.

The consistently high bar-passage rates helped ASU Law receive a top rating on The National Jurist magazine’s ranking of best-value law schools. ASU Law — ranked No. 22 overall — was one of just 25 schools to receive an “A” rating, based on ultimate bar-passage rate and other key measures, such as employment rate, tuition, cost of living and average debt upon graduation.

National Jurist says of its best-value rating system, “It’s a no-nonsense evaluation of the nation’s law schools and their ability to deliver a solid education and job-readiness without costing a fortune.”

This marked the second year in a row that ASU Law improved or maintained its overall passage rate and its average score on the July bar exam. In addition to the overall success, ASU Law also posted the top individual scores, with Tyler Carlton (highest score) and Bethany Anne Polk (tied for the second-highest score) leading the way.

ASU Law has led the state in bar-passage percentage and average score on the summer exam every year since 2014 while posting one of the nation’s highest bar-exam differentials, which compares a school’s bar-passage rate to the overall rate in its state.

The passage percentages are broken down by first-time test-takers and repeat test-takers, and ASU Law topped all other Arizona law schools — as well as test-takers from all other out-of-state schools accredited by the American Bar Association — in both categories.

The state bar exam is administered biannually, every February and July, although a majority of students take the summer test.

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