Updated December 14, 2016
Graduates of the University of Illinois College of Law achieved a 91% bar passage rate among all first-time test takers on the July 2016 administration of the Illinois bar exam, up from 87% for the July 2015 exam, and exceeding the statewide average first-time bar passage rate of 77% by 14 percentage points. (This is the largest spread between the statewide average and the College’s first-time pass rate in at least a decade, the period for which we have comparative data.) At 91%, the College of Law’s passage rate was the second highest in Illinois – behind the University of Chicago and ahead of Northwestern. For the takers who graduated from the College of Law this May (as opposed to all first-time University of Illinois takers, a group that included a few people from previous classes), the pass rate was a bit higher still, at 92%. These passage rates placed the College of Law second among Illinois’ nine law schools, and the College was one of only two schools in the state with an increased passage rate compared to the July 2015 test administration.
This improved mark came in the face of another in a series of recent downturns in the overall bar passage rate among all first-time test takers in Illinois, which has dropped 8 points – from 85% on the July 2014 bar examination to 77% this July – in two years. Rates stated above are based on data provided to the College of Law by the Illinois Board of Admission to the Bar.
Thirty-five graduates of the Class of 2016 registered to sit for bar exams in 13 jurisdictions outside of Illinois, including California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. While we do not have complete data from all the states (as not all states disclose their bar passage details), the College’s Class of 2016 bar passage rate in all jurisdictions (including Illinois) was approximately 90%.
“As I have observed before, a critical aspect of the College's mission is to provide students with the legal knowledge, analytic methodologies, practical skills, and moral sensibilities necessary to thrive in the legal profession. While year-to-year results inevitably fluctuate, the general success of our graduates on the bar exam demonstrates the strength of our academic program, and, importantly, the ability and determination of our graduates,” noted Vikram Amar, dean of the College of Law. “We celebrate the outstanding performance of these graduates on the bar exam and elsewhere, and will endeavor to support their future professional success and fulfillment,” Amar added.