Other Statistics

Expected MBE Change

The mean MBE score in July 2015 is the lowest it's been since 1988, before many states increased cut scores. Between July 2013 (mean MBE score of 144.3) and July 2013 (mean MBE score of 139.9), the mean MBE has fallen 4.4 points. Based on school admissions profiles in 2013 and 2014, we can expect MBE scores to fall even more for the July 2016 and July 2017 administrations of the bar exam.

Using data published by the NCBE, we can tell how GPA and LSAT increases affect the likelihood of gaining or losing a point on the Multi-State Bar Exam (MBE). A GPA change of .07 translates into about one MBE point; one LSAT point translates into about 1.1 MBE point. When a test-taker's MBE score goes up or down, so do the chances of passing the bar.

At least on average, serious risk law schools did not mitigate the decline in LSAT with their GPA profiles. But some schools did increase GPA at one or more quartile marks. Checking whether the school enrolled more at-risk students than before is tricky, however. Much depends on a law school's admissions strategy. For instance, a school may choose to admit a student with an extreme risk LSAT only if that student's GPA was above its previous GPA-75. Alternatively, a school may admit virtually everybody and wait to see where the chips fall.

We tested nine admissions scenarios to see how they affected MBE scores. Scenario #1: Compared to a student admitted in 2010 with an LSAT equal to the school's 2010 LSAT-25 and a GPA equal to the school's 2010 GPA-75, how many MBE points would we expect a student to gain or lose with numbers matching 2014 LSAT-25 and GPA-75? The other eight scenarios include every combination of GPA and LSAT quartile change between 2010 and 2014.

In total there were 666 tests (74 schools x 9 scenarios), but only six schools saw any improvement in at least one scenario. Of the 666 tests, four saw no change in expected MBE score and 31 saw at least some change in expected MBE score. One school (Detroit Mercy) saw an improvement in all nine scenarios, another (Liberty) in eight of nine. These two schools accounted for more than half of the positive expected values.

The expected values had a wide range. The positive expected values ranged from .37 to 3.16, averaging an additional 1.25 expected MBE points. The negative expected value ranged far wider: -.14 to -14, with an average loss of 5.9 expected MBE points. The serious risk schools with positive values increased the odds of bar passage a little and those with negative values decreased their odds a lot.

Note the school's 2013 first-time bar passage rate, as reported to the ABA, in the first column under the school name. These students started in 2010, the anchor year for the scenarios developed here. Expected MBE score change does not directly translate into proportional bar passage rate change across schools. It depends on the starting point. For instance, if every test-taker in 2013 was securely in the passing zone, expected MBE points Nevertheless, decreases in expected MBE score will generally translate to lower rates.

School Change Scenarios
LSAT-25LSAT-50LSAT-75 Avg.
#1GPA-25#2GPA-50#3GPA-75 #4GPA-25#5GPA-50#6GPA-75 #7GPA-25#8GPA-50#9GPA-75
University of South Dakota
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 97.8%
LSAT: -5 / -2 / -2
GPA: -0.41 / -0.28 / -0.28
-11.36-9.5-9.5-8.06-6.2-6.2-8.06-6.2-6.2-7.92
University of North Dakota
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 73.6%
LSAT: -5 / -1 / -2
GPA: -0.2 / -0.11 / 0.03
-8.36-7.07-5.07-3.96-2.67-0.67-5.06-3.77-1.77-4.27
University of Maine
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 87.5%
LSAT: -4 / -3 / -3
GPA: 0.02 / -0.03 / -0.04
-4.11-4.83-4.97-3.01-3.73-3.87-3.01-3.73-3.87-3.9
Ohio Northern University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 85.7%
LSAT: -5 / -4 / -4
GPA: -0.08 / -0.21 / -0.12
-6.64-8.5-7.21-5.54-7.4-6.11-5.54-7.4-6.11-6.72
Appalachian School of Law
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 68.3%
LSAT: -5 / -3 / -3
GPA: -0.12 / -0.11 / -0.11
-7.21-7.07-7.07-5.01-4.87-4.87-5.01-4.87-4.87-5.65
University of Idaho
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 77.9%
LSAT: -4 / -3 / -3
GPA: -0.21 / -0.15 / -0.04
-7.4-6.54-4.97-6.3-5.44-3.87-6.3-5.44-3.87-5.57
University of The District of Columbia
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 54.7%
LSAT: -4 / -4 / -3
GPA: -0.16 / -0.13 / 0.01
-6.69-6.26-4.26-6.69-6.26-4.26-5.59-5.16-3.16-5.37
Elon Law School
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 65.5%
LSAT: -8 / -7 / -8
GPA: -0.1 / -0.07 / -0.06
-10.23-9.8-9.66-9.13-8.7-8.56-10.23-9.8-9.66-9.53
Liberty University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 70.1%
LSAT: 0 / 1 / 2
GPA: -0.01 / 0.05 / 0.07
-0.140.7110.961.812.12.062.913.21.62
Northern Illinois University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 87.4%
LSAT: -4 / -3 / -2
GPA: -0.21 / -0.19 / -0.18
-7.4-7.11-6.97-6.3-6.01-5.87-5.2-4.91-4.77-6.06
Southern Illinois University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 88.8%
LSAT: -7 / -6 / -6
GPA: -0.29 / -0.21 / -0.15
-11.84-10.7-9.84-10.74-9.6-8.74-10.74-9.6-8.74-10.06
Creighton University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 82%
LSAT: -3 / -2 / -3
GPA: 0.02 / 0.02 / 0.06
-3.01-3.01-2.44-1.91-1.91-1.34-3.01-3.01-2.44-2.45
Faulkner University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 91.9%
LSAT: -6 / -5 / -5
GPA: -0.08 / -0.14 / -0.08
-7.74-8.6-7.74-6.64-7.5-6.64-6.64-7.5-6.64-7.29
Drake University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 94.7%
LSAT: -5 / -4 / -2
GPA: -0.1 / -0.16 / -0.18
-6.93-7.79-8.07-5.83-6.69-6.97-3.63-4.49-4.77-6.13
Howard University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 64.3%
LSAT: -3 / -3 / -1
GPA: -0.05 / -0.02 / -0.02
-4.01-3.59-3.59-4.01-3.59-3.59-1.81-1.39-1.39-3
University of Arkansas - Little Rock
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 70.6%
LSAT: -5 / -4 / -2
GPA: 0.02 / -0.03 / 0
-5.21-5.93-5.5-4.11-4.83-4.4-1.91-2.63-2.2-4.08
University of Toledo
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 81.2%
LSAT: -2 / -1 / -2
GPA: 0.18 / 0.12 / 0.07
0.37-0.49-1.21.470.61-0.10.37-0.49-1.2-0.07
Willamette University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 80.6%
LSAT: -5 / -5 / -4
GPA: 0.01 / -0.07 / -0.08
-5.36-6.5-6.64-5.36-6.5-6.64-4.26-5.4-5.54-5.8
Campbell University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 82.4%
LSAT: -5 / -4 / -2
GPA: -0.21 / -0.2 / -0.12
-8.5-8.36-7.21-7.4-7.26-6.11-5.2-5.06-3.91-6.56
Mercer University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 86.8%
LSAT: -6 / -4 / -3
GPA: 0.02 / -0.12 / -0.12
-6.31-8.31-8.31-4.11-6.11-6.11-3.01-5.01-5.01-5.81
University of La Verne
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 56.4%
LSAT: -6 / -5 / -4
GPA: -0.18 / -0.17 / -0.23
-9.17-9.03-9.89-8.07-7.93-8.79-6.97-6.83-7.69-8.26
Samford University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 84.9%
LSAT: -5 / -4 / -4
GPA: -0.17 / -0.12 / -0.03
-7.93-7.21-5.93-6.83-6.11-4.83-6.83-6.11-4.83-6.29
Regent University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 75.6%
LSAT: -2 / 0 / 0
GPA: 0 / -0.09 / 0.05
-2.2-3.49-1.490-1.290.710-1.290.71-0.93
Western New England University School of Law
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 64.1%
LSAT: -8 / -7 / -6
GPA: 0 / -0.02 / -0.1
-8.8-9.09-10.23-7.7-7.99-9.13-6.6-6.89-8.03-8.27
Washburn University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 85.3%
LSAT: -5 / -4 / -2
GPA: 0.05 / 0.06 / 0.07
-4.79-4.64-4.5-3.69-3.54-3.4-1.49-1.34-1.2-3.18
University of Akron
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 83.8%
LSAT: -4 / -2 / -3
GPA: -0.18 / 0.04 / 0.07
-6.97-3.83-3.4-4.77-1.63-1.2-5.87-2.73-2.3-3.63
Widener University - Pennsylvania
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 83.3%
LSAT: -3 / -2 / -1
GPA: -0.06 / -0.05 / -0.15
-4.16-4.01-5.44-3.06-2.91-4.34-1.96-1.81-3.24-3.44
Roger Williams University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 80.3%
LSAT: -4 / -3 / -2
GPA: -0.15 / -0.15 / -0.09
-6.54-6.54-5.69-5.44-5.44-4.59-4.34-4.34-3.49-5.16
Northern Kentucky University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 82%
LSAT: -6 / -5 / -3
GPA: -0.18 / -0.19 / -0.21
-9.17-9.31-9.6-8.07-8.21-8.5-5.87-6.01-6.3-7.89
Ave Maria School of Law
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 62.6%
LSAT: -8 / -6 / -5
GPA: -0.18 / -0.08 / 0.04
-11.37-9.94-8.23-9.17-7.74-6.03-8.07-6.64-4.93-8.01
North Carolina Central University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 65.6%
LSAT: -2 / -2 / -1
GPA: 0.06 / -0.02 / -0.05
-1.34-2.49-2.91-1.34-2.49-2.91-0.24-1.39-1.81-1.88
Valparaiso University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 76%
LSAT: -6 / -5 / -4
GPA: -0.29 / -0.21 / -0.26
-10.74-9.6-10.31-9.64-8.5-9.21-8.54-7.4-8.11-9.12
University of Dayton
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 77.4%
LSAT: -5 / -4 / -3
GPA: 0.05 / 0.04 / -0.03
-4.79-4.93-5.93-3.69-3.83-4.83-2.59-2.73-3.73-4.12
Mississippi College
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 77.6%
LSAT: -3 / -3 / -1
GPA: -0.23 / -0.13 / -0.11
-6.59-5.16-4.87-6.59-5.16-4.87-4.39-2.96-2.67-4.81
Vermont Law School
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 77%
LSAT: -7 / -4 / -3
GPA: -0.23 / -0.16 / -0.03
-10.99-9.99-8.13-7.69-6.69-4.83-6.59-5.59-3.73-7.14
Texas Southern University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 66.8%
LSAT: -2 / -3 / -1
GPA: -0.02 / 0.01 / 0.01
-2.49-2.06-2.06-3.59-3.16-3.16-1.39-0.96-0.96-2.2
Oklahoma City University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 79%
LSAT: -4 / -2 / -1
GPA: -0.06 / 0.05 / -0.07
-5.26-3.69-5.4-3.06-1.49-3.2-1.96-0.39-2.1-2.95
Hamline University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 83.8%
LSAT: -3 / -2 / -1
GPA: -0.17 / -0.12 / -0.15
-5.73-5.01-5.44-4.63-3.91-4.34-3.53-2.81-3.24-4.29
Albany Law School
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 79.8%
LSAT: -4 / -3 / -3
GPA: -0.13 / -0.05 / 0.01
-6.26-5.11-4.26-5.16-4.01-3.16-5.16-4.01-3.16-4.48
Charleston School of Law
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 75.6%
LSAT: -8 / -6 / -5
GPA: -0.29 / -0.19 / -0.14
-12.94-11.51-10.8-10.74-9.31-8.6-9.64-8.21-7.5-9.92
Western State University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 77.6%
LSAT: -2 / -1 / -2
GPA: 0.03 / -0.03 / -0.02
-1.77-2.63-2.49-0.67-1.53-1.39-1.77-2.63-2.49-1.93
Capital University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 86.6%
LSAT: -6 / -5 / -3
GPA: -0.2 / -0.14 / -0.08
-9.46-8.6-7.74-8.36-7.5-6.64-6.16-5.3-4.44-7.13
Marquette University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 100%
LSAT: -5 / -5 / -4
GPA: -0.02 / -0.13 / -0.12
-5.79-7.36-7.21-5.79-7.36-7.21-4.69-6.26-6.11-6.42
Barry University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 79.3%
LSAT: -5 / -5 / -5
GPA: 0.09 / 0.06 / -0.02
-4.21-4.64-5.79-4.21-4.64-5.79-4.21-4.64-5.79-4.88
University of Detroit Mercy
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 61.1%
LSAT: 2 / 2 / 3
GPA: -0.01 / -0.04 / -0.05
2.061.631.492.061.631.493.162.732.592.09
John Marshall Law School - Atlanta
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 67.1%
LSAT: -2 / -2 / -2
GPA: 0.07 / -0.06 / -0.09
-1.2-3.06-3.49-1.2-3.06-3.49-1.2-3.06-3.49-2.58
St. Thomas University - Florida
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 71.4%
LSAT: -4 / -2 / -2
GPA: -0.01 / 0.03 / -0.01
-4.54-3.97-4.54-2.34-1.77-2.34-2.34-1.77-2.34-2.88
Touro College
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 66.4%
LSAT: -4 / -5 / -4
GPA: -0.11 / -0.1 / -0.06
-5.97-5.83-5.26-7.07-6.93-6.36-5.97-5.83-5.26-6.05
Indiana University - Indianapolis
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 82.5%
LSAT: -3 / -3 / -4
GPA: -0.07 / -0.12 / -0.11
-4.3-5.01-4.87-4.3-5.01-4.87-5.4-6.11-5.97-5.09
Florida A&M University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 73.1%
LSAT: 0 / -1 / -1
GPA: 0.04 / 0 / 0
0.5700-0.53-1.1-1.1-0.53-1.1-1.1-0.54
Pace University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 79.3%
LSAT: -4 / -3 / -3
GPA: -0.21 / -0.12 / -0.02
-7.4-6.11-4.69-6.3-5.01-3.59-6.3-5.01-3.59-5.33
St. Mary's University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 81.5%
LSAT: -3 / -3 / -4
GPA: -0.03 / -0.01 / -0.04
-3.73-3.44-3.87-3.73-3.44-3.87-4.83-4.54-4.97-4.05
Whittier Law School
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 65.7%
LSAT: -7 / -6 / -4
GPA: -0.13 / -0.12 / -0.1
-9.56-9.41-9.13-8.46-8.31-8.03-6.26-6.11-5.83-7.9
DePaul University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 86.8%
LSAT: -8 / -7 / -6
GPA: -0.15 / -0.16 / -0.08
-10.94-11.09-9.94-9.84-9.99-8.84-8.74-8.89-7.74-9.56
Golden Gate University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 55.7%
LSAT: -5 / -5 / -3
GPA: -0.09 / -0.12 / -0.14
-6.79-7.21-7.5-6.79-7.21-7.5-4.59-5.01-5.3-6.43
Southern University Law Center
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 46.6%
LSAT: -1 / -1 / -1
GPA: -0.04 / 0.13 / 0.12
-1.670.760.61-1.670.760.61-1.670.760.61-0.1
University of the Pacific
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 67.7%
LSAT: -7 / -7 / -5
GPA: -0.15 / -0.24 / -0.16
-9.84-11.13-9.99-9.84-11.13-9.99-7.64-8.93-7.79-9.59
William Mitchell College of Law
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 88.8%
LSAT: -3 / -4 / -3
GPA: -0.16 / -0.12 / 0
-5.59-5.01-3.3-6.69-6.11-4.4-5.59-5.01-3.3-5
University of Baltimore
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 84.9%
LSAT: -3 / -3 / -3
GPA: -0.04 / -0.05 / -0.07
-3.87-4.01-4.3-3.87-4.01-4.3-3.87-4.01-4.3-4.06
Hofstra University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 82.6%
LSAT: -9 / -6 / -6
GPA: -0.16 / -0.23 / -0.14
-12.19-13.19-11.9-8.89-9.89-8.6-8.89-9.89-8.6-10.23
California Western School of Law
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 71.4%
LSAT: -5 / -4 / -4
GPA: -0.09 / -0.1 / -0.04
-6.79-6.93-6.07-5.69-5.83-4.97-5.69-5.83-4.97-5.86
Nova Southeastern University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 81.6%
LSAT: -2 / -2 / -2
GPA: -0.1 / -0.02 / -0.01
-3.63-2.49-2.34-3.63-2.49-2.34-3.63-2.49-2.34-2.82
Widener University - Delaware
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 81%
LSAT: -2 / -3 / -2
GPA: -0.05 / -0.1 / -0.16
-2.91-3.63-4.49-4.01-4.73-5.59-2.91-3.63-4.49-4.04
Arizona Summit Law School
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 69.1%
LSAT: -8 / -6 / -4
GPA: -0.14 / -0.1 / -0.1
-10.8-10.23-10.23-8.6-8.03-8.03-6.4-5.83-5.83-8.22
New England School of Law
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 89.2%
LSAT: -5 / -3 / -2
GPA: -0.1 / -0.07 / -0.02
-6.93-6.5-5.79-4.73-4.3-3.59-3.63-3.2-2.49-4.57
Southwestern Law School
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 73.5%
LSAT: -3 / -4 / -4
GPA: -0.2 / -0.15 / -0.11
-6.16-5.44-4.87-7.26-6.54-5.97-7.26-6.54-5.97-6.22
Thomas Jefferson School of Law
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 55.2%
LSAT: -8 / -6 / -4
GPA: -0.13 / -0.16 / -0.11
-10.66-11.09-10.37-8.46-8.89-8.17-6.26-6.69-5.97-8.51
South Texas College of Law Houston
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 88.1%
LSAT: -3 / -2 / -3
GPA: -0.13 / -0.12 / -0.12
-5.16-5.01-5.01-4.06-3.91-3.91-5.16-5.01-5.01-4.69
Charlotte School of Law
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 61.7%
LSAT: -10 / -7 / -6
GPA: -0.2 / -0.21 / -0.16
-13.86-14-13.29-10.56-10.7-9.99-9.46-9.6-8.89-11.15
Suffolk University
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 81.9%
LSAT: -9 / -10 / -6
GPA: 0.06 / 0 / -0.07
-9.04-9.9-10.9-10.14-11-12-5.74-6.6-7.6-9.21
John Marshall Law School - Chicago
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 84.9%
LSAT: -5 / -5 / -5
GPA: -0.16 / -0.17 / -0.09
-7.79-7.93-6.79-7.79-7.93-6.79-7.79-7.93-6.79-7.5
New York Law School
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 82.5%
LSAT: -5 / -4 / -3
GPA: -0.2 / -0.08 / 0.02
-8.36-6.64-5.21-7.26-5.54-4.11-6.16-4.44-3.01-5.64
Florida Coastal School of Law
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 68.4%
LSAT: -6 / -6 / -5
GPA: -0.23 / -0.21 / -0.22
-9.89-9.6-9.74-9.89-9.6-9.74-8.79-8.5-8.64-9.38
Thomas M Cooley Law School
2013 Bar Pass Rate: 51.5%
LSAT: -3 / -1 / -2
GPA: -0.08 / -0.09 / -0.07
-4.44-4.59-4.3-2.24-2.39-2.1-3.34-3.49-3.2-3.34