Grantee Research

Determinants of Success on the Bar Exam: One Law School's Experience 2010-2023

Document Type

Law Review Article

Publication Date



bar passage correlates, law school curriculum, academic success programs


From 2010-2013, the UC Law SF first-time bar pass rate floated with the average first-time pass rate of graduates of ABA-accredited law schools in California. But suddenly, in the space of three years (2014-2016), the law school’s bar pass rate dropped to a much greater degree than changes in student metrics or statewide variations in pass rates could explain, to a historical low on the July 2016 administration of the California Bar Exam of just 51%. In response, the law school thoroughly revamped its approach to teaching academic and bar success skills. Within three years, the UC Law SF bar pass rate increased by about 30%. This Article uses statistical analysis to assess which of the law school’s academic reforms adopted after 2016 contributed to the law school’s bar pass turnaround.