UMass Law rises to third in Massachusetts Bar pass rate

92.6 percent pass rate demonstrates success of the only public law school in the Commonwealth

2018 UMass Law graduates at Commencement

According to the latest results from the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners, the UMass Dartmouth-based UMass School of Law ranked third among Massachusetts law schools less than two years after receiving full American Bar Association accreditation.

On the July 2018 Massachusetts Bar Exam, UMass Law’s pass rate was 92.6 percent for first-time test takers, a key metric in assessing the quality of a school’s academic program. This was third behind only Harvard University and Boston University among the nine law schools in Massachusetts. The state average was 78.9 percent.

“These are incredible results, but as important is that UMass Law is ranked first in Massachusetts for percentage of graduates who become public servants,” said UMass President Marty Meehan. “UMass Law is committed to educating attorneys who are making a difference in their communities.”

“For the past year we have seen our students rank higher and higher on bar pass rates, job placement rates, and pro bono efforts, which are powerful indicators of the quality and impact of the education they are receiving,” UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert E. Johnson said. “At UMass Law, we are creating high quality and affordable opportunities for people to enter the legal profession with a community-focused mindset.”

“These bar exam results are a reflection of the deep talent and genuine commitment of the law school’s faculty and staff,” UMass Law Dean Eric Mitnick said. “Ultimately, though, it is the students who put in the long hours preparing for and then sitting for the exam. I am so proud of our students.”

More about UMass Law

The UMass School of Law was established in 2010 and earned full ABA accreditation in 2016.

The school ranks 4th in Massachusetts and Rhode Island behind just Harvard, Boston College, and Northeastern in the percentage of its 2017 graduates securing a job that either requires bar passage or for which attending law school is a genuine demonstrable advantage.

In 2017, UMass Law ranked #1 in New England and #11 in the nation for the percentage of graduates in full-time public service jobs (27 percent).

Applications to UMass Law for fall 2018 increased more than 20 percent over the prior year, and first-year enrollment has increased 42 percent in just the past two years.

The school is among the most diverse law schools in New England with approximately 30 percent of its students being persons of color.

Every UMass Law student is required to perform 30 hours of pro bono service (the average actual pro bono service performed by students is approximately 150 hours).

UMass Law students have delivered more than 117,000 hours of pro bono legal services to the community since 2010.

UMass Law operates Justice Bridge, a law practice incubator in New Bedford and Boston that matches recent law graduates with seasoned mentors to provide legal services to individuals who otherwise could not afford representation. Since 2014, Justice Bridge has served thousands of modest means clients in housing, family, and immigration cases.

Recent awards include: 2017 Massachusetts Bar Association Public Service Award, 2017 Massachusetts Bar Association Oliver Wendell Holmes Scholarship, 2018 Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association Scholarship, 2017 Library of Congress Award (national top 10 student law review article).

UMass Law houses legal clinics focused on community development, criminal prosecution, human rights, immigration, and tribal law.

Faculty research focuses on patent law, drone regulation, gender violence, law and religion, marriage equality, freedom of information, immigration, privacy, and comparative law.


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