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Albany Law School’s February Bar Takers Perform Above State, National Averages

By Lauren Mineau
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For the second time in a row, Albany Law School bar takers performed above the state average among the 15 New York law schools and the nationwide average.

Out of 36 first-time takers from Albany Law, 31 passed for a passing rate of 86%, well above the 76% pass rate for first-time takers from all the ABA Law Schools.   

In February 2021, a larger-than-average slate of Albany Law School students took the exam, which was administered virtually due to COVID-19.

This is the second bar administration in a row in which Albany Law outperformed the majority of schools in NYS (87% passed the July 2020 bar). 

“This tremendous group of students—and soon to be licensed attorneys—has weathered a difficult storm of transitioning to online learning and preparation for the bar, an exam that is stressful and taxing in typical circumstances,” said Albany Law School President and Dean Alicia Ouellette. “The news of so many of our graduates passing this exam is testament to their determination, resilience, and adaptability, which are all traits that will take them to new heights as they embark on their careers.”

Overall, 2,130 candidates took New York’s February remote exam, 1,054 passed for an overall passing rate of 49%. Individual names of those who passed the bar are now available on the New York State Board of Law Examiners website.

Additionally, all six of Albany Law School’s Pro Bono Scholars passed the February 2021 exam. Statewide, there were 131 participants in this year's Pro Bono Scholars Program, and 123 of them passed the February examination for a passing rate of 94%.

This innovative program permits students to sit for the bar exam in their final year of law school in return for devoting their last semester of study to performing pro bono service through an approved clinical or externship program. This affords students the opportunity to learn vital practice skills and accelerate their admission to the bar while helping those who are unable to afford legal representation.

“For their final law school semester, these exceptional students went from intensive bar study and the exam to full-time supervised public interest practice to help provide access to justice,” said Professor Nancy Maurer, Director of the Field Placement and Pro Bono Scholars Program at Albany Law School. “They continue their public interest work through graduation week and expect to join the bar in June. Scholars, you make us all proud!”