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Law Professors Warn Against Lowering Bar Passage Score

Two law professors, Robert Anderson IV and Derek Muller, have published “The High Cost of Lowering the Bar,” in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. It can be found in Volume 32, page 307 of that law review.

Anderson and Muller argue, based on statistical evidence that lowering the bar passage score will mean an increase in attorney disciplinary claims. They show that students with lower bar passage scores are more likely to have public disciplinary matters. They argue that the attorney’s score on the bar exam correlates with discipline rates throughout the lawyer’s career. Lawyers with higher scores are far less likely to be disciplined. Lawyers with low scores are more likely to be disciplined.

Anderson and Muller argue against lowering the bar exam score because lower scores mean weaker quality lawyers.

The bottom line is that “lowering the score will have significant costs.”

Comment: in an academic world where grade inflation is everywhere, I credit these two professors for this statistical research.

Should you have an ethics question, do not hesitate to contact me.

Ed Clinton, Jr.

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