William S. Richardson School of Law graduates (Photo by Mike Orbito)

William S. Richardson School of Law graduates (Photo by Mike Orbito)

The bar passage rate for new graduates of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law rose from 75 percent annually over the past three years to 83 percent for the July 2013 Hawaiʻi State Bar exam. There was also a decided increase in the passage rate for all School of Law graduates who took the test, up to 78 percent from 71 percent a year ago.

The jump in passage rates follows a concerted effort by the School of Law to get students thinking about the bar exam earlier and to help them prepare. “Even excellent students often face challenges on the bar exam. We’ve just tried to raise awareness among students,” said Liam Skilling, director of the School of Law’s Academic Success Program and Evening Part-Time Program.

“We provide a number of workshops to give students information about what they can expect, as well as practice opportunities so they can have the experience of taking real bar questions even before starting their bar preparation,” Skilling said. “We have a nice bar passage rate in the worst of days, but it’s certainly good to see the numbers going up and seeing more students passing on their first attempts.”

Bar passage rates are an important element when prospective students are searching for the right law school, as well as for rankings by U.S. News and World Report. School of Law Dean Avi Soifer said that the increased passage rate is both a testament to the efforts of the faculty and staff, and to the high quality of the students themselves. “Richardson Law School students are exceptional, and now that we have helped them focus on the bar exam, they have risen to the challenge admirably,” said Soifer.

Read the School of Law news release for more.

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