Dear Concord Law School Students and Alumni:
I hope you had an enjoyable winter break and are settling into the new year. I know many of us are hoping that 2022 is better than 2020 or 2021 (and I’m hesitant to jinx it by saying it couldn’t get much worse!). Fortunately, there is good news on the Concord Law School front.
Bar Pass Results. I am very pleased to announce that our graduates’ most recent first-time pass rate on the July 2021 California bar exam was 57%. This pass rate was the second highest in Concord's history. The only time Concord fared better was the first time its graduates ever took the bar exam over 18 years ago, in February 2003, when the first-time pass rate was 60%.
To put this number in perspective, the State Bar of California reports that the average first-time pass rate in our category (California-accredited schools) was only 43%. Even our repeater pass rate of 23% equaled that of out-of-state American Bar Association (ABA) schools, was higher than that of California-accredited schools (15%), and was comparable to the California ABA school average (28%).
I am optimistic that with the able assistance of our new Director of Bar Support, Professor Quentin Huff, we will continue to see bar pass gains in the years to come.
Virginia Licensure Opportunity. Speaking of the bar exam, you may have heard that North Carolina and Wisconsin are two states in which our Juris Doctor graduates can sit for their bar exam immediately after getting licensed in California. Now, you can add Virginia to that list. Virginia changed its bar admission rules in July 2021 so that a graduate of a non-ABA law school can sit for their bar exam if licensed in another jurisdiction. And because Virginia, like North Carolina, is a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) jurisdiction with a required score of 270, Concord graduates who are licensed in North Carolina should be able to transfer their UBE score to Virginia.
National Accolades. In 2021, The Princeton Review named Concord to its first-ever List of Best Online JD Programs. In addition, I was recently invited to participate in an upcoming online panel presentation, hosted by PreLaw Magazine, that will be comprised of deans whose law schools were ranked highest nationally in innovation. I will share more information once it is available.
Continued Growth. Since Concord earned accreditation from the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California in August 2020, it has seen increased interest from applicants. Over the last fiscal year, enrollments were 30% higher than Concord had anticipated. I am gratified that Concord now has the opportunity to serve and prepare more students for the legal profession or their chosen field.
Distinguished Speaker Webinar. Our next installment in the series will take place on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, from 10:00 to 11:00 am PT 1:00 to 2:00 pm ET). The topic will be “Health Law and Policy Today: A Congressman’s Perspective,” and will feature Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), whose district includes the Chicago suburbs. I am particularly excited because this will be the first time that our webinar series features a member of Congress. Please keep an eye out for registration information in the coming weeks.
From Dean to Published Author. In a quirky bit of personal news, my first novel, Scrute, was recently published. It is a humorous tale about a middle-schooler who is so strange he seems like he’s from another planet … and he just might be. The book was the subject of an article in The Indiana Lawyer (registration required), as well as an interview on the Mommy Mafia blog. This also likely marks the first time that the words mommy and mafia have occurred in a law school dean’s communication.
25th Anniversary. Concord was founded in 1998 as the nation’s first fully online law school (back when many of us still had dial-up internet). That means the year 2023 will mark Concord’s 25th anniversary. We hope to offer a variety of programming throughout that year to mark the occasion, including a weekend networking and educational conference for alumni. Stay tuned for more details!
Thanks, and all the best,