📃 There’s still a huge gulf in bar passage rates between white and Black and Hispanic lawyers
New data from last year shows striking racial disparities when it comes to passing the bar, according to Law.com. It’s been like this for years.
The ABA revealed the gap last week: In 2020, the passage for first-time white test takers was 22 percentage points higher than Black test takers and 12 percentage points higher than Hispanic test takers.
The data reflects past trends and apathy: Since at least 1990 studies have shown similar disparities. Still, hardly any key players in the legal community have worked toward solutions.
Ideas for change
One suggestion is to lower the cut-rate for tests to 130, like Missouri, Minnesota, and a handful of other states have done without endangering the quality of the legal profession. Another suggestion is making bar prep courses more available and affordable.
But wider scale changes have also been proposed (including getting rid of the bar exam entirely). One group of researchers suggests every state should allow licensure through the bar exam and through alternative means such as clinics and supervised practice.