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Initiatives

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Uniform Bar Exam and UNM Bar Passage Rate

New Mexico has adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) and has experienced a decline in bar passage rates due to significant changes in the exam. As a law school community, we are coming together in support of our students and graduates who are preparing for this exam. In addition to discussion with the State Bar Committee on Diversity in the Profession on the topic of increased resources and support, here are the UBE bar preparation and passage support services the law school offers to students:

  • Offering of two 1-credit, pass/fail bar strategies courses
  • Providing a free commercial bar strategies supplement
  • Offering funds for students who need help covering the cost of a commercial bar course
  • Providing incentives to complete at least 75% of prep courses
  • Increasing discussions with students regarding testable subjects and related course planner
  • Providing opportunities for students to hear from bar exam graders
  • Providing opportunities for the Executive Director of the New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners (NMBBE) to speak with students
  • Presenting lectures and discussions regarding testable subjects provided by practice area experts, including Professors Ted Occhialino and George Bach and Director of Academic Success Beth Kaimowitz

Bar Passage Next Steps

Short-term steps currently include:

  • Leveraging alumni expertise, resources, and coaching
  • Adding the bar preparation program developed by UNM Law graduate Mario Mainero, Professor of Academic Achievement and Director of Bar Services, Chapman University. https://www.chapman.edu/our-faculty/mario-mainero
  • Examining our faculty’s role(s) (underway): Incorporation of bar exam materials in teaching, crafting bar-style questions, cautioning against open-book exams
  • Tracking and analyzing related data for use in creation, evaluation, and modification of services
  • Collecting information regarding curriculum offered by commercial bar prep companies that can be integrated into juris doctor program
  • Providing information to curriculum committee and related committees for consideration of potential curricular changes

Long-term steps currently include:

  • Development of a bar preparation and bar passage outcomes taskforce, to include previous UBE graders and others to be charged with analyzing current results and strategically designing a responsive program

Additional details and updates on progress will be posted below as they become available.

For more information contact the Office of Student & Career Services.

Comments

Our Deans and faculty invite questions, comments, feedback, and suggestions regarding the ongoing process around bar passage and assessment of our efforts and opportunities for increased preparation, support and success. Submit your comments using the form below.