Graduates from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law earned the highest bar pass rate for first-time test takers among ABA-accredited law schools in California on the 2023 February bar exam. This is the third consecutive year that McGeorge graduates earned the first or second highest bar exam pass rate for first-time test takers in the state on the February bar exam.

McGeorge School of Law and Loyola Law School tied for the best bar pass rate in the state, with 59 percent of test takers passing the exam on their first try. By comparison, statewide, only 49 percent percent of first-time test-takers from accredited California schools and 32.5 percent of all test-takers  passed the February 2023 bar exam.

McGeorge graduates also maintained the law school’s pristine, 100 percent bar exam pass rate for first-time test takers from the school’s Accelerated Honors Program.  

“I sincerely congratulate all of the McGeorge graduates who sat for the February 2023 bar exam and passed it. Every single one of them inspired me this winter with their dedication, determination, and overall positive attitudes,” said Lindsay Harrington, the Director of Bar Support and Assistant Professor of Law.

The Accelerated Honors Program at McGeorge is the only honors accelerated JD program in the country, allowing students to obtain their law licenses six months early and begin practicing law as attorneys ahead of their counterparts in traditional three-year, full-time programs. Program graduates are very competitive and successful job applicants and save a semester of expenses.

Program alumnus and valedictorian Tom Salazar, ‘22, said the Accelerated Honors Program provided him with the necessary tools to succeed on the California Bar Exam.

“The AHP 1L externship gave me a first look at how real lawyering works, and the small size of the cohort studying for the 2023 February exam made bar prep more manageable,” Salazar said. “I am forever grateful for these opportunities, and I hope the program continues forward as part of the curriculum at McGeorge.”

Founded in 2018, the honors program was designed by Professor Emeritus Dorothy Landsberg and then-Associate Dean Michael Colatrella. Students in the honors program enroll in regular courses and electives, in addition to a special one-unit seminar course taught by Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz.

After their first year, students take a heavier course load than traditional JD students, consisting of 17 units per semester. Additionally, students complete a 10-week honors externship during the summer. McGeorge covers the cost of tuition for summer externship courses, saving students thousands of dollars while they extern in placements such as Trial and Appellate Judges’ chambers, the California Attorney General’s Office, the Fair Political Practice Commission, and other non-profit and governmental agencies.

News of McGeorge’s bar exam success comes on the heels of other accolades. In May, McGeorge was ranked No. 9 in the nation for its trial advocacy program by U.S. News & World Report. The law school also received national recognition for Legal Writing (No. 32), Alternative Dispute Resolution (No. 34), part-time law program (No. 37), and International Law (No. 38).

Recently, preLaw Magazine recognized the academic strengths of McGeorge School of Law in public policy and government law. McGeorge was also ranked as the No. 14 most diverse law school in the country.

For more information about McGeorge School of Law, visit our website.

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