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Law school isn't the certain path to financial stability and happiness that our parents believed it would be. Increasing numbers of law school grads are discovering that a life of discovery isn't all that it's cracked up to be, and leaving billables behind for greener pastures -- even if it means less green in the bank.
But before making a decision to quit practicing, a lawyer has to start practicing law, which means passing the bar.
The National Jurist, a publication that describes itself as "the voice of legal education," recently released its list of the top 50 best schools for bar exam preparation. Interestingly, all three Fifth Circuit states have schools on the list, and Louisiana State University's Paul M. Hebert Law Center is ranked first.
Other Fifth Circuit-based schools that made the best bar passage rate cut are the University of Mississippi (39), Texas Tech (42), Mississippi College (49), and Southern Methodist University (50).
Interestingly, three of those schools also appeared on The National Jurist's November 2011 list of the top 20 best value law schools. LSU was ranked the sixth best value, Ole Miss was tenth, and Texas Tech was finished the list at number 20. The best value determination was based on bar passage rates as well as job placement rates, though the publication did not factor the type of job or salary into its calculations.
Considering the still-constricting job market, and the increasing rate at which recent law school grads are suing educational institutions because they can't find jobs, should prospective law students rely on the best value/best bar passage rate lists when making decisions about where to attend law school? And if more students flock to the "best" schools in hopes of better post-grad job prospects, will they over-saturate the Fifth Circuit legal market?