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Last summer Penn State Law students sat for the bar exam in more than 25 states. Their performance was especially strong in Pennsylvania, where 81 members of the Class of 2013 took the bar exam for the first time and passed at a rate of 93.83%, surpassing all other Pennsylvania law schools. The overall first-time pass rate for exam takers in Pennsylvania was 82.96%.
"The bar exam is a marathon, not a sprint," explains Keith Elkin, Dean of Students and organizer of the bar preparation program at Penn State Law. "The most important aspect is the state of mind that the candidate brings to the study process immediately after graduation."
Elkin, who is also the author of MBE: Beginning Your Campaign to Pass the Bar Exam, administers a bar exam support program at the Law School that includes
- a spring course that provides students with an early start to bar exam preparation;
- a post-graduation summer class to accompany bar study; and
- one-on-one tutoring for students in need of extra assistance.
"We couldn't be prouder of the Class of 2013 and all that they've accomplished," said Elkin. The Bar Prep program is designed to supplement other commercially available bar exam preparation courses.
Penn State Law graduates are also doing well in other jurisdictions. "With 34 states reporting, we have a 92.38% first-time pass rate," said Elkin, who is optimistic for similar success in states that have not yet released scores such as California, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia.