Five hundred thirty eight certified passers successfully navigated July's bar exam. That number is up 13.5 percent from last year's certified passer list.
To all of you who passed, congratulations. We can't wait to welcome you to State Bar of Michigan membership.
If you happened to spot a previous blog post that claimed the number of bar exam passers was down, we apologize. In our haste to get the statistics posted for you, we inadvertently skipped a page of passers and posted the wrong number the first time. It was not intended to be a Halloween scare tactic.
Many of you have raised interesting points that we'd like to incorporate into this post, to further explain what we are reporting to you:
I thought there were 538 people on the July 2013 passing list (>1000 takers, I thought) and 529 people on July 2012's (967 takers). Can you explain how you arrived at a 13.5% passing rate increase?
You're comparing apples to oranges by comparing the July 2013 certified passing list to the total number of passers from the July 2012 exam. The total number of passers on the July 2012 exam includes those whose "holds" were released, and those who had successful appeals to the exam results. The only number we have to go on from the Board of Law Examiners at this point is just the list of certified passers, which does not include the number with holds on their results or the number who will appeal their results successfully. So we're comparing the July 2013 certified passers to the July 2012 certified passers, and that is where we came up with the 13.5 percent increase in passers.
The number of certified passers for the July 2012 exam was 529 as Confused stated. Therefore, Confused is comparing certified passers to certified passers (not apples to oranges). (The number after appeals for the July 2012 exam was 549.) A jump from 529 to 538 does not equal 13.5%
Last October, SBM staff counted the initial list of certified passers that was posted on the Board of Law Examiners website when it was first released. The number of names listed on that initial list was 474. We got the 13.5 percent increase by comparing the number of names of certified passers from this year's list, (538) and compared it to the number of names from the same list last year (474), as these numbers are on an "apples to apples" basis. The total number of passers that the BLE published for the July 2012 exam after "holds" were released and appeals granted totaled 549. There is nothing yet to compare that number to, because the BLE has not yet published a number of July 2013 bar exam passers after holds are lifted and appeals granted.
I was also very disappointed to see this article yesterday. It really has no value and I find it insulting as someone who sat for the July 2012 bar exam, as it implies there was something inherently wrong with that group of applicants. It is frustrating to watch the State Bar of Michigan continue to defend the actions of the BOLE during the July 2012 bar exam. Very, very disappointing. Please save your articles for real statistics instead of using a faulty method of calculating to try to make your opinion known.
Please be clear -- the State Bar has not defended the administration of the 2012 bar exam or any other bar exam sitting. In fact, the State Bar has asked questions about consistency and advocated for greater transparency. If our blog posts, offered in the spirit of sharing the data we get as soon as we get it, have created any other inference in any reader's mind that is unfortunate and unintended.