An Analysis of Bar Exam Failure Rates in the US

Are you thinking about heading to law school? There might be a few more things to consider than you originally thought. Everyone knows that getting your law degree is no easy task and we have all heard of the difficulties in sitting for the Bar Exam. What you might not realize is that where you choose to attend law school and study for the Bar Exam may be a more important decision than you realized. The team at CaseFleet recently did some data crunching and discovered that there are large disparities in Bar Exam success rates from state to state. Check out some of their findings below, they may have an impact on your law school selection.


After analyzing the data from the 2015 Bar Exam, it was discovered that California, New York, and Florida are the three states with the most failed test takers. Although there are many notable law schools in the golden state, such as Stanford and UC Berkeley, they came in with a whopping 7,320 students who did not pass the test. That number may be slightly intimidating if you were considering attending a California law program. It seems like the North Eastern states really struggled with the 2015 Bar Exam as well. You might think twice before heading to New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania.


Just to add on to the intimidation factor of choosing California or New York as the state in which you will sit for the exam, it turns out they are also the top two with the most new lawyers meaning there is an overwhelming amount of competition. Texas also seems to be a state to avoid with 1,529 students failing the exam last year and 2,791 new lawyers. At this point you might be feeling a little pessimistic with these high failure rate statistics, but there is still hope. Case Fleet also found the states with the highest pass rates.


Missouri, Iowa, and Kansas came in the top three positions. It may be a good idea to sit for the Bar in one of these Midwest states. However, you may not want to pack your bags quite yet. The drawback is that you have to stay and practice law in the state where you take the exam. The states with the highest pass rates don’t seem to coincide with the hippest places to live. Unless you have a major draw to Kansas, such as family in the area, you may not be eager to head to Dorothy’s hometown.

There are certainly a lot of factors to consider when searching for the right place for you. It’s time to start making some decisions.  Will these findings have an impact on your law school selection? They might help you when considering competition and your chances of passing the Bar Exam.

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