The class of 2019 is the first crop of UD law students graduating with the reforms that have been in place the entire time they’ve been enrolled.
Key strategies the school used to try to improve students’ success include adding more credits to core first-year courses; smaller class sizes; multiple assessments to track students at risk for failing the bar; requiring bar-prep courses; one-on-one tutoring; and free housing opportunities.
Previous coverage: UD to begin offering new ‘hybrid’ online law degree
“For everybody we think is at risk for failing the bar, two sessions each week is with a private tutor. I don’t know anybody else that’s doing that,” Strauss said. “The traditional law school approach, when I went to law school … sink or swim. So if you’re having problems, especially in your first semester, nobody knows until it’s really too late.”
Upping the bar passage rate is the main mark of a school’s success, Strauss said. However, making the school more attractive to the most qualified students is another way to hold on to long-term success.
“As we’ve increased selectivity and focused squarely on student success, we’ve seen an uptick in applications,” UD President Eric Spina said. “Our School of Law was one of only two in the country that enjoyed a 50 percent increase in applications for this fall’s class, according to the Law School Admission Council.”
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Applications have risen from 639 in 2015, to 1,062 in 2019, according to a UD law school report.
Although applicants increased dramatically since then, the acceptance rate has dropped from 58% to 38% — a good mark, according to Strauss. As the school’s reputation improves with better scores and higher selectivity, Strauss said better job placement will follow.
The American Bar Association measures a school’s job numbers 10 months after graduation. Strauss said the school’s director of career services predicts there will be a jump in job placement for its students.
“When these bar results came out, we all were waiting and we’ve all been really excited and everything because things are really starting to come together in a big way.”
UD law school pass rate, Ohio July Bar Exam