SJU Law Students Set High Bar

Photo of St. John’s University’s School of Law. Photo courtesy of St. John’s University.

Photo of St. John’s University’s School of Law. Photo courtesy of St. John’s University.

By Christina Carrega

For the second year in a row, a higher than average number of St. John’s University Law School students have passed the bar exam.

This summer, 87 percent of the Jamaica campus’ students passed the challenging exam, a total which places the university fifth out of the state’s law schools, according to The New York Law Journal. The report also showed that 83 percent of Red Storm law students averaged well above first-time test takers at American Bar Association-accredited law schools statewide.

“There are three drivers of a law school's bar exam pass rate: (1) selectivity (whom you admit); (2) pedagogy (how/what you teach); and (3) culture (how you approach bar prep itself),” said Dean Michael A. Simons in a statement on the university’s website. “Our 87% pass rate this year, and our 12.7 percentage point gain from 2016 to 2017, shows that St. John’s is succeeding on all three fronts.”

The university has improved their bar prep curriculum to include by sending out weekly newsletters with study tips. SJU also enables students to and allowing students to take practice exams under realistic conditions,. Students also allows students to benefit from individualized exam strategy counseling, offers a workshops on exam topics and encourages test-takers to participate in lighter group activities like “Bar Exam Jeopardy” hosted by Dean Simons.

With the help of generous donors, SJU Law also provides mealtime study breaks during the week, nourishing minds, bodies and spirits during a stressful and demanding time and reinforcing a strong sense of community, according to the university’s website.

“Our graduates have responded positively to this extra level of support,” said Susan Landrum, the Law School’s assistant dean for academic achievement. “They have the camaraderie of their classmates, a familiar and comfortable study environment, and a wealth of resources that we offer to help them achieve on the bar exam. At this most vital time on their professional path, they know that we’re here for them every step of the way.”

The other New York Law schools in the top 5 are New York University, Columbia, Cornell and Fordham, according to statistics self-reported by the individual schools.