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Online law school scores 60 percent bar exam pass rate

Concord University School of Law, the exclusively online law school that is seeking accreditation for its program, registered a 60 percent pass rate on the February bar exam.

“I think it’s a giant first step,” exulted Dean Jack Goetz. “If the world is looking for outcomes, this was a home run.”

The school’s first 10 graduates took the exam and six passed. The overall pass rate for the February exam was 37.3 percent and the pass rate for first time applicants who attended schools accredited by the Committee on Bar Examiners but not by the ABA was 22.4 percent.

Concord has been trying to win State Bar accreditation, and the committee created a task force to study the issue of accrediting online law schools. Its report has not been released, but it is expected to take a wait-and-see approach.

Goetz said the bar exam results were just a “first-time indicator,” and critics of the Concord program likely will say more results are needed, as well as a track record on success in the profession, before accreditation is granted.

“But perhaps we can be a little more bullish on the disparity that exists between our exam results and those of State Bar-accredited law schools,” he said.

One Concord graduate is already general counsel for his company, another plans to open a divorce mediation center, one is an intern in a district attorney office. “Others are finding similar receptiveness in the legal comunity,” Goetz said.

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