Bar Examinations and High-Stakes Assessments

Title

Guests in Another's House: An Analysis of Racially Disparate Bar Performance

Document Type

Law Review Article

Publication Date

1-1996

Keywords

bar passage, test bias, disparate impact, minimum competence, data collection, implicit bias, academic support programs, law school diversity

Abstract

"Bias in the examination process has been observed in one form or another for over sixty years, but any serious effort to recognize or correct this problem has been stymied by three interrelated factors. First, there is a scarcity of comprehensive, accurate statistical data to confirm racial disparities in bar passage rates over time and across jurisdictions. Second, courts consistently demonstrate an unwillingness to consider judicial remedies as an appropriate response to any aspect of the disparate bar passage problem. Lastly, there is a surprising lack of thorough, sensitive analysis of the causes and the sources of such racially disparate bar performance. This Article analyzes each of these three interrelated factors" (724).

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