Wishing you a belated but sincere Happy New Year from the University of La Verne College of Law. I am pleased to report that 2014 ended on an extremely high note and 2015 has opened with more great accomplishments.
In December we received the official results from the California July 2014 bar exam. Our first-time takers matched the state average with a pass rate of 66%. As a result, the pass rate for all College of Law first-time takers in 2014 was 73%, seven points above the first-time pass rate for all graduates from ABA law schools taking the February and July bar exams. In the two calendar years since the College of Law received provisional ABA approval in March 2012, the first-time pass rate has met the Standard established by the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar. Moreover, as of December 2014 the employment rate of our 2014 graduates (71%) is the highest it has been in the past three years, and there are still two months remaining in the time period for reporting our employment statistics.
The start of 2015 has proven equally as exciting. Our National Black Law Association Court Team of Sajdah Bryant and Earl Robertson took the three top awards – Best Team, Best Brief and Best Oralist (Robertson) – at the National Black Law Student Association Western Region Conference’s Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition. The Team, which is coached by La Verne Law alums Thomas Allison and Ayinde Jones, will be heading to the National tournament in March, and is in a very good position to bring home the National Trophy.
We also launched the second leg of our new 2L curriculum – the Transactional Law Track – with 41 students learning Business Organizations, Sales and Negotiations in the context of a semester-long simulation under the tutelage of Associate Dean Randy Rubin, Professor Kevin Marshall and Associate Dean Susan Exon. The students work on simulation exercises in four-person teams as “associates” in a firm, and must come to the regularly scheduled “firm meetings” with “senior partner” Associate Dean Rubin in professional dress. Thus, they are having the experience of practicing law with the rigor of learning the concepts and doctrine of these challenging and important subjects.
Finally, the College of Law continues to have a growing reputation in the legal community. In my travels to events in the Inland Empire and East Los Angeles, attorneys that I meet are regularly praising the College of Law for its progress, the performance of its students in both internships and other practice settings, and its graduates’ performance on the bar exam, and the new and dynamic curriculum. Further evidence of our growing reputation is provided by the fact our applications are up 9%.
All of this points to a very positive future for the College of Law and supports our decision to apply for ABA full approval in Fall 2015, a year earlier than originally planned. I want to thank everyone – our students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and the University, legal and general communities – for your support, care and love. We could not have come this far without this great team, and together we will achieve more than we could ever hope or imagine.