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The Aspen Advisor Week in Review for September 21, 2018

The Aspen Advisor Week in Review for September 21, 2018 random
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Let’s start with the bad news.  July 2018 Bar Exam results are starting to come in and we are learning that some schools have posted great results but many others have fared worse than last year.  A summary of the Florida schools can be found in the article, “Disappointing Bar Exam Results Are Out…”  Last year, the national mean MBE scaled score from the July bar exam was 141.7. This year, that same score is 139.5, which represents a 34-year low for the smallest group to take the July MBE since 2001. The last time the score was this low (139.2) was in 1984. This is a call-to-action for everyone connected to this experience. As a publisher, we are focused on innovative new solutions to help students succeed. 

Now, let’s focus on more encouraging news.  A recent report, conducted by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and Gallup, utilized survey responses from more than 22,000 undergraduates and more than 2,700 first-year law students to better understand what students are thinking when they consider law school.  When asked why they wanted to pursue a law degree, undergraduate students most often reported that law school would be a “pathway for a career in politics, government or public service,” that they had “a passion for or high interest in the type of work,” that a law degree would provide “opportunities to help others or to be useful to society” and that they wanted to “advocate for social change.”  This is an inspiring collection of reasons to go to law school.  For more detail, read, “How Undergrads Think About Law School.”  And, speaking of law schools, I was interested to read, “Brigham Young University’s Law School Admits First Class with More Women Than Men.” A surge in female applications means the IL class has more women than men for the first time the school’s history.  Some attribute this to the Trump Bump, others to an uptick in religiosity. Either way, it’s a first! 

Bar Exam

Disappointing Bar Exam Results Are Out, With Some Schools Hovering Around 40 Percent Pass Rates
Which schools performed the best on the test, and which performed the worst?

Its Accreditation at Risk, University of South Dakota Law School Gets a Piece of Good News             
Students who graduated from the law school largely met with success with the July bar exam, with 82 percent of first-time takers passing the test.

Law Professors 

After N-Bomb, Emory Law Prof's 1L Students May Choose Whether to Take His Classes  
Emory Law Professor Paul Zwier agreed to a two-year period during which students may choose whether take his classes and to undergo sensitivity and unconscious bias counseling.

Law School Students       

Summit Helps HBCU Students Prepare for Law School    
Several hundred students from historically Black colleges and universities across the nation gathered at Emory University  over the weekend to hear from experienced lawyers and current law school students about attending law school.

How Undergrads Think About Law School
New report sheds light on what students are thinking when they consider law school.

Legal Education

Brigham Young University’s Law School Admits First Class with More Women Than Men
For the first time since Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School opened its doors in 1973, the incoming class has more women than men.

Other Legal News

Why A High Schooler Started Covering The Supreme Court          
Anna Salvatore is a 16-year-old from New Jersey who has started a popular blog for high school students about the U.S. Supreme Court. She talks with NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro.


The Aspen Advisor Week in Review is a collection of interesting articles from the past week that pertain to Legal Education. Some may be especially relevant to law professors and others to law students. Many stories focus on the pedagogical, technical, and financial innovation occurring in law schools today. We hope that these articles inspire you.