LAWRENCE – With their law degree in hand, the only thing standing between graduates and their legal careers is the bar exam. A new program at the University of Kansas School of Law will help KU students clear that hurdle without the added financial pressure of paying for a bar review course.
Through an innovative partnership with Themis Bar Review, KU Law’s Free Bar Prep Program will provide a comprehensive suite of preparation resources – including a post-graduation commercial bar review course – to every student at no cost. December 2018 graduates will be the first beneficiaries.
“KU Law is already a Best Value Law School ranked 18th in the nation for overall bar pass rate. But we want to do even better,” said Stephen Mazza, dean of the law school. “Research shows that graduates who take commercial prep courses pass the bar exam at higher rates, and we want to set our students up for success as they launch their careers. Covering the cost of their study is a worthwhile investment. To our knowledge, KU is the only school taking this approach.”
Through the program, all KU Law students receive the following:
- Post-graduation Themis Bar Review course
- Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) preparation course
- Themis first-year and upper-level Law School Essentials materials
- First-year diagnostic exam
- Option to enroll in Early Bar Preparation course for law school credit
- Access to on-site bar examination instructors
In July 2018, 100 percent of KU Law graduates who completed at least 75 percent of the Themis prep course passed the Kansas and Missouri bar exams on their first attempt.
“Students have enough to worry about before the bar exam. Whether they can afford an adequate bar prep course will no longer be a concern for KU Law students, and that is fantastic,” said Joel Thompson, a third-year law student at KU. “It’s comforting to know I attend a law school committed to helping all students succeed.”
The bar examination is a test intended to determine whether candidates are qualified to practice law in a given jurisdiction. The bar exam is administered twice a year, in February and July. Most students graduate in May and take the summer exam. Commercial bar preparation courses typically cost several thousand dollars.