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War of Words Ensues Following Decline in Bar Exam Scores
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NCBE, law school news, Brooklyn Law School

Summary: Following recent data that shows a decline in bar exam scores, the dean of the Brooklyn Law School wrote a scathing letter to the NCBE.

As bar exam scores continue to drop, finger-pointing has begun as to who is to blame, according to The Wall Street Journal.


In October, a memo was sent by Erica Moeser, who is the president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, to law school deans nationwide. The memo defended the group’s exam integrity and discusses issues with the ability of would-be lawyers who take the exam.

In response to the memo, the Brooklyn Law School dean wrote a letter on Monday that reproached the group for suggesting that graduates of law schools who took the exam in July were not prepared enough for it.

The group is located in Wisconsin and it prepares standardized portions of the bar exam. One portion it prepares is the Multistate Bar Examination, which is multiple choice and counts for half of the score for the test-taker.

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To read more about the Brooklyn Law School, click here.

“I…want to take this opportunity to let you know that the drop in scores that we saw this past July has been a matter of concern to us, as no doubt it has been to many of you,” wrote Ms. Moeser.

She continued with the following: “While we always take quality control of MBE scoring very seriously, we redoubled our efforts to satisfy ourselves that no error occurred in scoring the examination or in equating the test with its predecessors. The results are correct. . . All point to the fact that the group that sat in July 2014 was less able than the group that sat in July 2013.”

Nicholas W. Allard, the dean of the Brooklyn Law School, sent the letter to Moeser on Monday.

“We don’t know what evidence you have to support this surprising (and surprisingly disparaging) claim, but we do have evidence about our own 2014 graduates, and it tells us precisely the opposite: their credentials were every bit as good as our 2013 graduates, if not even better,” he wrote.

Moeser did not issue comment regarding the letter from the Brooklyn Law School dean.

Allard said that the passage rate for law graduates at Brooklyn Law School who took the exam for the first time in July was 10 percent lower than the rate from last year.

To read more about the National Conference of Board Examiners, click here.

“What is her basis for saying the students are less able? I think that’s offensive. I don’t believe it,” Allard said.

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Image credit: Brooklyn Law School



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