University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law graduates achieved an 81% first-time bar passage rate on the February 2021 California Bar Exam, the second-highest pass rate among all California law schools.
McGeorge surpassed the 65% average first-time pass rate for graduates from all California ABA-Approved law schools and the 57% rate for all ABA-Approved law schools outside of California.
In addition, graduates from the Accelerated Honors Program, which helps students obtain their law licenses six months early and begin working as attorneys ahead of their peers in traditional three-year, full-time programs, had a first-time pass rate of 100%.
It is the second-highest first-time bar pass rate for McGeorge in 25 years—86% on the October California Bar exam.
“I attribute this year’s successes first and foremost to our graduates, who have persevered through unimaginable challenges during the pandemic,” said Michael Hunter Schwartz, dean of McGeorge Law. “McGeorge’s improved bar performance is a testament to our students’ determination and the innovative teaching methods used by our faculty. I am so grateful to the McGeorge faculty and staff who in the past few years have overseen a renaissance in the way we support our students.”
The Honors program, which was designed by Professor Emeritus Dorothy Landsberg and then-Associate Dean Michael Colatrella, is the only honors accelerated JD program in the country. Students are required to have particularly high undergraduate GPAs and LSAT scores and successfully navigate an interview with a McGeorge faculty member to be accepted.
“Our Accelerated Honors Program graduates were successful because they are highly motivated students who chose McGeorge’s distinctive program because it would allow them to fast-track their careers and because of the robust experiential learning integrated into the program,” explained Landsberg.
Located in Sacramento, California’s capital city, McGeorge is led by professors who have attained national and international renown in their fields, including retired U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the law school’s longest continuously serving faculty member.
U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate School rankings recently placed McGeorge No. 8 nationally for trial advocacy and No. 21 in the nation, and second in California, in legal writing.