Duquesne University Achieves Positive Result on First-Ever Remote Pennsylvania Bar Exam

Graduates of the Duquesne University School of Law achieved an 83.02% first-time taker pass rate on the twice-rescheduled July 2020 Pennsylvania bar exam administered remotely in October.

• Duquesne's first-time pass rate outpaced the statewide first-time pass rate for the fifth consecutive year.
• Duquesne's overall pass rate exceeded the state's overall pass rate of 75.80%.

"Our graduates faced significant challenges during this administration of the bar examination in almost every area of their lives, from finances to health," said Duquesne School of Law Dean April Barton. "Through it all, they received unwavering support from our faculty, staff, and alumni. Duquesne Law is known for its special sense of community, and this administration of the bar examination was no exception."

The test results highlight Duquesne's ability to prepare students for their legal careers, even in the midst of a global pandemic that affected every jurisdiction across the country, with many bar examinations being postponed and later administered online. Only a small number of jurisdictions went ahead with plans to administer in-person bar examinations in July as previously scheduled. The Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners ultimately decided to administer a remote bar examination in October to ensure the health and safety of the graduates and others seeking licensure in the Commonwealth.

Since February 2018, the American Bar Association (ABA) requires law schools to report their "ultimate bar pass rates," which track law school graduates for a period of two years or four bar exam cycles (July and February). For its class graduating in 2017, Duquesne Law reported an ultimate bar pass rate of 93.16%, placing Duquesne University ahead of other Pennsylvania law graduates in terms of bar pass rates. More information on the ABA and its ultimate bar pass rate can be found here.

"We are incredibly proud of our graduates, who demonstrated determination, perseverance and grit under unprecedented and challenging circumstances, building in them strong character. These qualities will serve them well as they enter the profession of law and serve the public," said Richard Gaffney, Duquesne School of Law Director of Bar Studies. "As well, we are grateful for the tireless work and unwavering support of our faculty, staff and alumni, who generously gave of their time and talents to work one-on-one with our graduates, demonstrating the spirit of the Duquesne community."

Contact: Ken Walters, cell 412.417.8156

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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