Arkansas Bar Exam Pass Rates Up


Arkansas Bar Exam Pass Rates Up
Stacy Leeds

The bar exam passage rates increased slightly in Arkansas in 2015, bucking a national trend.

The National Law Journal reported in November that bar exam pass rates in several states dropped in 2015, including California, Georgia and New York.

But in Arkansas, the pass rate improved for all takers to 64.5 percent in 2015, after hitting 63.8 percent, the lowest rate since 2005, according to the numbers provided by the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville.

Students from Fayetteville’s law school had a 67.7 percent pass rate in 2015, up from 66.1 percent the previous year. Of first-time takers, 78.4 percent passed in 2015, up from 73.4 percent.

Students from the William H. Bowen School of Law in Little Rock had a 62.2 percent bar exam pass rate in 2015, which was up from 58.6 percent the previous year. First-time takers did much better: 76.3 percent in 2015, up from 74.8 percent in 2014.

“Over time, the state averages here have been fairly consistent, even going back 20 years,” said Stacy Leeds, dean of the UA School of Law.

She said that both Arkansas law schools admit the right number of students. “At least what I know about our own statistics here, we’re making sure that we admit people who have a reasonable amount of success,” she said. “And we think we prepare them pretty well for the bar exam.”

Arkansas Bar Exam Results 2005-2015

All Takers
Year No. of Takers Passing Percentage
2005 349 70.4%
2006 407 69.3%
2007 363 70.0%
2008 348 72.4%
2009 338 67.2%
2010 356 65.4%
2011 370 71.4%
2012 367 67.8%
2013 366 65.0%
2014 356 63.8%
2015 330 64.5%
 
 
First-Time Takers
Year No. of Takers Passing Percentage
2005 281 78.3%
2006 298 80.2%
2007 262 80.2%
2008 269 82.5%
2009 256 74.2%
2010 258 72.5%
2011 261 83.5%
2012 288 76.4%
2013 266 76.3%
2014 259 75.7%
2015 236 76.7%

Source: University of Arkansas School of Law