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School of Law

Bar review program employs proven methods
The same strategies that helped Appalachian School of Law (ASL) increase its bar passage rate by 38% are being used to prepare Elon law students for the bar exam.

Jeff KinslerJeff Kinsler, right, professor of law at Elon, previously served as dean and professor of law at Appalachian School of Law in Virginia. There, in 2003 he started a comprehensive bar review program for students that included detailed outlines, lectures, CDs, DVDs, and practice exams to prepare students for the bar exam and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE), which is required in nearly all states.

An article in the Winter 2008 edition of PreLaw Magazine lists the law schools that showed the most improvement in bar passage rate between 2002 and 2005. According to a chart accompanying that article, Appalachian School of Law’s bar passage rate increased more than that of any other U.S. law school during the first three years that Professor Kinsler conducted his bar review course at ASL. Indeed, ASL’s 38% bar passage increase was 12 percentage points higher than the second law school on the list.

“ASL’s bar passage increase,” Kinsler says, “was the crucial factor in ASL obtaining ABA full approval in 2006.”

Kinsler has brought his bar exam success to Elon, where students have a 99% first-time passage rate on the MPRE. That test has a national first-time passage rate of approximately 85%. “There’s a lot of work to be done, but we are off to a good start,” Kinsler says.