For the third time in a row, Carolina Law held the top spot for overall bar passage rate among North Carolina law schools.
North Carolina administered the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) in July 2019, and UNC School of Law had the highest-ranking overall bar passage rate among the state’s six law schools. This is the third time in a row that UNC ranked No. 1 among North Carolina law schools for total test takers of the North Carolina bar exam.
Ninety-three percent (93%) of the 126 Carolina Law graduates who took the bar exam in July passed, according to results released by the state’s Board of Law Examiners. The school’s passage rate for total test takers exceeded the overall state passage rate for total test takers by 20%.
First time test takers also performed well with a 94% passage rate for the 124 Carolina Law graduates who took the North Carolina bar exam. The school’s passage rate for first time test takers exceeded the overall state passage rate of 83% for first time test takers by 11%.
“Measuring success in higher education is often somewhat difficult, but bar exam passage for law students is about as specific a measurement as you can get,” says Richard Stevens ’74, chair of the UNC Board of Trustees. “North Carolina is fortunate to have a law school like Carolina Law preparing students for careers that impact the economy and communities of North Carolina and beyond.”
Among North Carolina’s law schools, the overall state passage rate for first time test takers was up 10 points from last July.
The UBE was administered for the first time in North Carolina in February 2019. It offers law school graduates a portable score that can be used to apply for admission in other UBE jurisdictions, such as New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston, therefore maximizing job opportunities and reducing the cost of taking multiple exams. Passing UBE scores vary by jurisdiction – North Carolina has one of the higher passing scores at 270.
The school’s Academic Excellence Program (AEP) provides all students with resources to aid their legal study, including one-on-one bar preparation for 3L students. “This year we continued our summer bar support, held bar workshops focused on the UBE, and further increased enrollment in our restructured bar preparation courses,” says O.J. Salinas, AEP director and clinical associate professor of law. “I am pleased to see such outstanding numbers for our Class of 2019, and I look forward to helping prepare the Class of 2020.”
The law school’s Research, Reasoning, Writing and Advocacy (RRWA) program ranks No. 8 in legal writing by U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” During two intensive semesters in RRWA, first year students work in small sections taught by full-time faculty members to develop key skills for legal practice, including legal research, writing and analysis.
“Starting the first day students enter our school, our committed faculty and staff are preparing them to think and write so that when they graduate, they have the skills to be successful taking the bar and in whatever career path they choose,” says Martin H. Brinkley ’92, dean and Arch T. Allen Distinguished Professor of Law. “I want to thank O.J. Salinas for his unwavering pursuit of excellence in preparing our students for the bar and I would also like to congratulate our graduates for putting in the hard work necessary to achieve these results.”