Willamette University College of Law graduates who sat for the bar exam for the first time this July achieved a pass rate of nearly 80% for Oregon and Washington combined. WUCL graduates performed right at the state average in Oregon and significantly exceeded the state average in Washington.
“The students put in countless hours of work on the exam, and we are very proud of them,” said Curtis Bridgeman, dean of the College of Law. “Although we won’t be happy until we have a 100% pass rate, our students and faculty are doing wonderfully at a time when it is harder than ever to pass the bar.”
According to the American Bar Association, the scores on the Multistate Bar Exam were the lowest since 1984, tracking a recent trend of declining bar passage rates.
Amy Meyers, a professor of Legal Writing and Director of Bar Preparation, commented on the change in averages over the years.
“The average for WUCL students who took the bar in Oregon was 5 points above the national average and our second highest average since the July 2014 examination,” Meyers said. “That outcome demonstrates the intense commitment by our graduates to their bar studies.”
She also noted the contributions of the College of Law in ensuring student success.
“The Willamette University College of Law faculty and administration have been working together to develop a well-calibrated curriculum that supports our graduates through law school, the bar exam, and the practice of law,” Meyers said.
According to Dean Bridgeman, a huge part of Willamette’s success is due to Professor Meyers. “Our faculty has been very innovative in the bar prep curriculum, and Professor Meyers has led those efforts. She has found a wonderful sweet spot with a program that focuses on improving real-world skills that will help not only bar passage, but also help our students to be better lawyers.”