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St. John’s Law Ranks Fourth in the State for New York Bar Exam Passage

Thursday, November 13, 2014

As reported today in the New York Law Journal, St. John’s Law continues to make strides in preparing students to pass the New York Bar Exam. Ranking fourth overall in the state for the July 2014 test—just behind New York University, Columbia, and Cornell—St. John’s is seeing the benefits of a new strategic approach that includes a revamped curriculum and a new Applied Legal Analysis course that provides targeted assistance to students most in need of help on the bar.  The course is taught by Professors Robert A. Ruescher and Erica B. Fine.

“Getting our students to pass the bar on the first attempt is one of our collective strategic priorities,” says Associate Academic Dean Larry Cunningham. “All of us—faculty, staff, and administrators—play a role in preparing students for this critical step in getting employed as a lawyer, but particular credit for our graduates’ success on the bar exam goes to Professors Ruescher and Fine and their hard work in Applied Legal Analysis.”

This marked the third consecutive year that the Law School surpassed the statewide bar pass average, and with each year that achievement gap has widened in St. John’s favor. “The students in Applied Legal Analysis embraced the course and, in typical St. John’s fashion, gave it their all,” Professor Ruescher shares. “Our outstanding bar pass rate reflects well not only on them, but on all the great professors they’ve had at St. John’s, including Professor Fine, who co-teaches the course with me.” The strides being made in bar passage are part of a larger, upward trajectory that includes a rise in student credentials, improved career placement, and an increase in alumni giving to unprecedented levels.

“While other law schools are on the defensive about their drop in pass rates—even blaming the test itself—we can take pride in the fact that we prepared our graduates well for the bar exam,” Dean Michael A. Simons says. “Although the marketplace is still challenging for law schools, the strategic steps we’ve taken to address those challenges are serving our students and the school well. Along measures that matter most, St. John’s Law is on the rise.”