Bar Examinations and High-Stakes Assessments


Bar Passage: GPA and LSAT, Not Bar Reviews

Document Type

Issue/Research Brief/Blog

Publication Date



bar passage, bar preparation, academic performance, commercial bar review courses, predictive models, LSAT score


Probit regressions of bar passage on law GPA, undergraduate GPA (uGPA) and LSAT show GPA to have a very strong relation, LSAT a weaker one, and uGPA not to have any relation. 1L and upperclass GPA both have strong predictive power, favoring an interpretation of significant learning in small and elective courses compared to the mandated large ones of the first year. Linear regressions of GPA on uGPA and LSAT show a noisy relation to exist only for first-time bar exam takers, none for 2nd time takers. Analysis of bar review courses does not show the choice among them to have consequence. Possible interpretations favor legal education over innate skill and the training in legal analysis over memorization.