After appeals process, July bar exam results increase

October 5, 2016

The number of people who passed the July 2016 Indiana Bar Exam has increased to 64 percent following the appeals and review process. The Board of Law Examiners updated the July 2016 statistics on its website Monday.

Indiana Tech Law School, which had only one student out of 12 who sat for the Indiana bar initially pass the exam, reported that five students were appealing. The updated list of successful applicants reveals an additional Indiana Tech student has passed the bar. Another student passed an out-of-state bar exam, brining the total of successful 2016 Indiana Tech grads to three out of 13.

When the results were initially announced in mid-September, just 61 percent of the 508 test takers passed. Following the appeals process, the percentage of successful first-time test takers increased from 68 percent to 72 percent. The percentage of successful repeat test takers increased from 28 percent to 30 percent.

It is common for the appeals process to bump up the pass rate. The February 2016 overall pass rate increased from 51 percent to 55 percent. Despite the increase, the February results remained the lowest passage rate for either exam date based on available statistics.

Bar exam results have been dropping in recent years in Indiana and across the country. The National Law Journal reported last year the passage rates for first-time July 2015 test takers in several states were on the decline. It pointed to Georgia, where the rate dropped nearly 7 percentage points; and Pennsylvania, where the passage rate for first-time test takers was under 80 percent for the first time since 2003. The ABA Journal recently reported July 2016 bar passage rate declines in at least seven states as of mid-September, although not all states have yet reported July results.

In Indiana, the July 2015 overall pass rate was 74 percent; in 2014 it was 72 percent, according to BLE statistics. The February 2015 overall pass rate was 67 percent; in 2014, it was 61 percent. Ten years ago, the July 2006 overall pass rate was 79 percent; the February overall pass rate was 68 percent.


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