Graduates of the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University achieved an impressive 82.3% first-time taker pass rate on the July 2022 Pennsylvania bar exam. The statewide first-time average pass rate was 75.16%.

Duquesne Kline Law consistently outpaces the state average, and July 2022 proved no exception. For the seventh consecutive year, the school's first-time bar passage rate has exceeded the state's average first-time passage rate and the state's overall passage rate of 67.65%.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the first in-person bar examination since 2019. It also was the first administration of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) by the Commonwealth. This is the first bar examination in the state's history not written by Pennsylvania lawyers, and the cut score (272) is one of the five highest among the 41 jurisdictions that have adopted the UBE.

"These results attest to the preparation we provide our students and to their determination for mastering legal content. Our faculty and staff impart the knowledge, and our graduates work diligently to understand and employ it," said April Barton, dean of the Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University. "I am proud of how well they performed on this first administration of the UBE, and I know they are empowered with the knowledge to be leaders of justice."  

The school and its alumni stakeholders devote significant time, energy and resources for its bar takers-delivering on first-time bar passage results is a serious commitment the school makes to all new Duquesne Kline Law students the moment they walk through the front doors.   

"I'm thrilled by the successful results of our Thomas R. Kline School of Law graduates in their first time taking the Uniform Bar Exam," said Duquesne University President Ken Gormley, who served as dean of the law school from 2008-2016. "This achievement is a testament to our students' tenacity and determination, our acclaimed Bar Studies program and the passion of our law school faculty to ensure that our graduates enter the profession prepared for anything."  

Ashley London, director of Bar Studies at Duquesne Kline Law, said this first administration of the UBE in Pennsylvania, and returning to in-person delivery of the exam, went smoothly and Duquesne graduates experienced very few technological issues.  

"We couldn't be prouder of our graduates who showed grit, determination and resolve this summer as they purposefully prepared for the UBE," London said. "Strong support from our faculty, staff and alumni make all of our work possible, and we're excited to celebrate with our newly minted lawyers!"

Bar-passage rates are "the single best outcome measure... in assessing whether a law school is maintaining a 'rigorous program of legal education'," according to the American Bar Association (ABA). In 2021, prelaw Magazine recognized Duquesne as a top performing law school in terms of its bar passage metrics.

Since February 2018, the ABA has required law schools to report their "ultimate bar passage rates," which track law school graduates for a period of two years or four bar exam cycles (July and February). In its most recent report for 2020, the School of Law posted an ultimate bar passage rate of 92.31% for its class of 2018.

Duquesne Kline Law graduates excel at the bar exam, but also achieve high employment statistics as well. In May, the ABA released 10-month employment statistics for the class of 2021 from law schools nationwide. The 2021 Duquesne Kline Law graduates are doing exceptionally well. As of March 15, 2022, 94.2% (148/157 graduates) of that are employed. Delving further into the data, 87.3% (137/157 graduates) are working in full-time and long-term positions where they are licensed to practice law or where the J.D. is an advantage to their work, outpacing the national average of 83%.

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October 11, 2022