SCHOOL OF LAW
OFFICE OF THE DEAN
Dear Howard University School of Law Community:
November 27, 2017
In this season of thanksgiving I want to extend congratulations to the Howard University School
of Law Class of 2017 on their excellent bar exam results. The Class of 2017 had a first-time bar
passage rate of 79%. This is a marked improvement from 2014 and 2015 when the law school's
first-time bar passage rate was 65% and 62% respectively.
We saw outstanding results in a number of jurisdictions. The Class of 2017 passed the New York
bar at a rate of93%. We also achieved an 88% bar passage rate in Georgia. It is worth noting that
in New York, Howard Law students earned pass rates better than those for out-of-state ABA
schools (87%) and first-time takers at New York ABA schools (86%). Howard Law students
scored higher than first-time takers at almost all Georgia ABA schools (79%), including Emory
(83 % ) and Georgia State (85% ), second only to the University of Georgia (89% ).
The improvement in the law school's bar passage rate is due to the outstanding efforts of the Class
of 2017 and their commitment to the law school's new comprehensive academic support and bar
passage program. The Class of 2017 is the first class to have the benefit of all 3 years of the
comprehensive bar passage efforts that we began in AY 2014-2015. The law school offers
academic support workshops starting 1 L year, one-on-one tutoring for all students, and a bar skills
course for credit. As part of this new bar passage initiative, all HUSL students also receive a
commercial bar course as part of their studies.
I want to thank Keri Foster (Class of 2006), the law school's director of Academic Support and
Bar Preparation. Ms. Foster joined the law school in the spring of2015 and she has taken the lead
in ensuring that our graduates are prepared to pass the bar. She has created and spearheaded new
programming, and gathered extensive data on previous classes to help us understand the key to bar
exam success for HUSL students.
The faculty continues to provide outstanding instruction and a focus on bar passage. The faculty
has committed to several new courses, including Business Organizations and Commercial Law, to
make it easier for students to receive necessary course coverage for bar preparation. The faculty
who teach in the first-year have committed to using multistate bar exam questions as part of IL
exams. Associate Dean Lisa Crooms-Robinson now meets with every 3L prior to their last
semester to ensure they have taken sufficient "bar courses", and she has worked with Ms. Foster
and the faculty to provide written guidance to students on the subjects covered on the bar exam in
each state and how they match up with the law school curriculum.
The alumni have also made important contributions to improving the law school's bar passage rate.
Over the last few years, alumni in California, the District of Columbia, New York, and Maryland
have started bar mentorship programs. Alumni have also significantly increased their gifts to the
law school's annual fund, which helps to support the bar passage program.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the leadership and support of Howard University President Dr.
Wayne Frederick and Provost Anthony Wutoh. Dr. Frederick committed significant financial
resources to the academic support and bar passage program that allowed for the hiring of Ms.
Foster and the establishment of the commercial bar course option for all students.
Howard University School of Law will continue to work tirelessly to ensure positive outcomes for
all of our graduates. While we are pleased with our progress, we will not be satisfied until we
reach a near 100% bar passage rate. I urge you to continue to support our efforts by giving to the
law school's annual fund. We hope to expand our efforts by hiring additional staff for the academic
support and bar passage office, establishing a formal peer tutoring program, and creating a fund to
assist students with their living expenses during their bar study summer.
Congratulations to the Class of 2017.