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November 22, 2014

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Boyd grads doing better than ever on bar exam

The percentage of Boyd Law School graduates who passed the Nevada Bar exam has reached its highest level since the school opened 11 years ago.

The Nevada Board of Bar Examiners said 86 percent or 91 of the 106 Boyd graduates who took the bar for the first time in July passed. That was better than the overall first-time graduates, 219 out of 295, passing it for a 74 percent success rate.

In July 2008, 83 percent of Boyd graduates taking the exam for the first time passed. A year earlier, it was 85 percent.

The record rate for UNLV graduates says a lot of about the law school and the job it is doing, Dean John White said. It signifies its focus is not only on students who are highly ranked, but on those who aren’t and still do well on the exam, he said.

“It is something we have emphasized, and we have taken seriously to get our bar passage (rate of Boyd) at the highest level,” White said.

The school offers free seminars on how to study for the bar, White said. Even former students who don’t pass the bar the first time can get assistance, he said.

The test results show 74 percent of all Boyd students who took the exam, whether it was the first time or multiple times, passed. That is better than the 63 percent of all test takers who passed.

Thirty-three percent of Boyd students who repeated the exam passed, compared with the state average of 28 percent.

No one can practice law in the state without passing the exam. The Nevada Bar is a three-day exam, and test takers must obtain a 75 on the exam as a whole as well as passing three essays with a scaled score of 75.

White said the bar exam in Nevada is much tougher than in Utah and Arizona. He said he doesn’t have any results on how UNLV graduates fared in those states this year.

Other than Boyd graduates, those who take the bar exam are out-of-state lawyers who plan to practice in Nevada. Other first-timers are from Arizona State University, Cal Western Law School, University of San Diego and University of the Pacific, White said.

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