January 19, 2023

Identifying Success Factors in Bar Pass Rate Improvements Among Disadvantaged and Diverse Students | UC Hastings College of the Law | Grant Outcomes 

Academic and Bar Success


This grant supported UC Hastings as it undertook an analysis of the factors that either contribute to or constitute barriers to bar success among its students. The underlying motivation for the project was to identify proven interventions that better prepare students for bar success — particularly students from under-represented or underserved backgrounds.  

UC Hastings was able to improve bar outcomes for its graduates after it shifted from an academic skills development model that prioritized those students who were most at risk toward a comprehensive model integrated with the law school curriculum. The specific aspects of the new model that the study identified as having the greatest impact on bar success were: (1) requiring or encouraging students to take additional upper-division bar subject courses; offering credit-bearing 3L courses that focus on improvements in MBE performance; and (3) co-curricular offerings in the 1L year. Other interventions did not demonstrate efficacy in improving bar outcomes—most notably, offering one-on-one office hours with academic skills specialists.