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USC named to best law schools for bar exam prep

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012

Study: USC Law grads outperform expectations on state exam

-By Lori Craig

The University of Southern California Gould School of Law is one of the best law schools in the country for bar exam preparation, a recent report says.

According to a statistical analysis conducted by the National Jurist magazine, USC Law is ranked No. 6 at helping its students pass the bar exam – including those with low LSAT scores. The study compared USC Law students’ LSAT at the 25th percentile for 2010 and the ratio of grads who passed the bar exam to the state average for 2009 and 2010. (See the full top-50 list here.)

“This study reflects the strong, rigorous academic programs at USC Gould School of Law and the commitment of our faculty and staff to supporting all our students,” said USC Law Dean Robert K. Rasmussen. “Our faculty teach in ways that are both theoretical and practical, allowing students to critically examine fundamental legal concepts while at the same time seeing how these concepts play out in modern practice. As a result, our students are well-prepared to excel on the bar and throughout their legal careers.”

In 2011, USC Law had the best bar passage rate of California law schools, with 91 percent of first-time bar takers passing the test. It was the fourth year in a row that USC’s bar passage rate was above 90 percent.

The strong showing reflects a school-wide effort attributable to a number of factors in addition to USC Law’s dedicated faculty and writing program, says Dean of Students Priya Sridharan.

“We have a strong academic support program, led by Associate Dean Rob Saltzman, that ensures all students develop their legal analytic skills and their writing skills,” Sridharan said.

Dean Rasmussen noted that USC Law’s admissions decisions do not rely simply on numbers like LSAT scores. As the report indicates, students admitted with lower LSAT scores may not be as at-risk with the bar exam as their scores indicate.

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