Upon completion of the first year, students in the Juris Doctor (JD) program at Concord must sit for the First Year Law Students Exam (FYLSE) administered by the State Bar of California. The FYLSE is required of all students who have completed their first year of law study at a school not accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) or the State Bar. It is a seven-hour, one-day examination consisting of four (4) one-hour essays and 100 multiple-choice questions in the areas of contracts, criminal law, and torts. The exam is administered twice per calendar year: at the end of June and at the end of October. It is a measurement of substantive knowledge as well as analytical and writing skills--student success on this exam reflects the knowledge and skills acquired in law school.
Concord's first year curriculum is designed to provide students with the substantive law knowledge and test-taking skills necessary to pass the FYLSE. In addition to their coursework, Concord provides our students with a complete review program known as Concord First. Concord First, developed and taught by Associate Dean Steve Bracci, includes review lectures, practice testing with individual feedback, and online live exam-taking technique sessions. Dean Bracci is a nationally recognized expert in regulatory exam preparation. As the finale in Concord First, students join him the weekend before the FYLSE in the southern California exam location (generally Pasadena) for intensive review sessions to polish their knowledge and skills.
Since Concord students started sitting for the First Year Law Students’ Examination in October 1999, 3,168 students have taken the exam. They have an ultimate pass rate of 49.1% (1,024 first-time and 530 repeat-taker passers, for a total of 1,554 students passing).
Concord also tracks the correlation between its students’ law school GPA and their performance on the FYLSE. Students who do well in their courses at Concord pass the FYLSE at high rates. The statistics below illustrate various Concord first-year grade point average levels for students taking the FYLSE and the resultant pass rates.
Concord calibrates its grading policies within the JD degree program to deliver realistic and continual feedback for learners as they progress toward their educational and career goals. Concord's success in implementing this calibration provides a mechanism for students to receive continual feedback on their progress toward their licensing goals.
Note: students may continue taking law courses pending the results of the FYLSE. To continue in Concord's JD degree program, students must pass the FYLSE within the first three consecutive administrations after they become eligible. Passing within that period allows students to receive credit for all law school classes completed up to that time.