Indiana law students are struggling to pass the state’s legal bar exam. A new report indicates the number of students who passed hit a record low in February.
The state reports that just 47 percent of test-takers passed the exam. The passing rate has been declining for several years.
In February of 2015, 67 percent passed. But just 55 percent passed in 2016, and 52 percent in February of 2017.
Cathleen Shrader is President of the Indiana Board of Law Examiners, a division of the state’s Supreme Court. She says when the board is looking for trends in the passing rates, they tend to focus on first-time test takers rather than repeat examinees.
“You could have someone who is taking a second exam, or someone who is taking a seventh exam,” Shrader says. “So it’s a little harder to look at any particular trend.”
Just 26 percent of repeat examinees passed the bar exam this time around. That’s compared to 67 percent of first-time examinees.
The board does allow some exams to be reviewed and re-graded, which could impact the overall pass rate.