Five days after releasing the results of last July’s Bar Exam results, the South Carolina Judicial Department decided that 20 additional bar takers should pass. This was the first time that graduates of the new Charleston School of Law could sit for the bar, and it has not escaped notice that
18 CORRECTION, 8 of the 20 students benefiting from this action received their law degrees from that school.
Even with this extremely unusual intervention, the bar passage rate of Charleston grads is under seventy percent. Had the results remained as they were originally released, the passage rate would have been even worse, around 65 percent. A local newspaper has been covering this situation. One account is here, entitled:
A follow up story is here. I don’t have any first hand information about any of this, but it’s very hard not to feel suspicious and demoralized about the whole thing. Other local press coverage is available here.
… The head of the board that grades the qualifying exam for South Carolina’s new lawyers says he was left out of the loop about a scoring error the Supreme Court cited in reversing grades for 20 people, including the children of a state lawmaker and a circuit judge.
S.C. Board of Law Examiners chairman George Hearn said neither the high court nor any of his board members informed him about the matter after the board submitted final scores of the July exam to the court before they were posted Oct. 26.
â€œOur board doesn’t have anything to do with it once we report the scores,”he told The State in an interview Monday.”Anything that happens afterward is done by the court.”
That apparently raises questions about what little the Supreme Court has said on the matter : that it was acting after”a scoring error reported by the examiner”Oct. 31.
It also would seem to put the court at odds with a new rule it imposed in March, banning any appeals and changes in grades after exam results are released. …