An Empirical Analysis Of Racial Bias In The UBE: A Law School’s First-Time Bar Pass Rate Decreases As Its Percentage Of Students Of Color Increases

Scott Devito, Kelsey Hample & Erin Lain

The legal profession is one of the least diverse in the United States. Given continuing issues of racism in our society, the central position the justice system occupies in our society, and the vital role lawyers play in that system, it is incumbent upon those in the profession to identify and remedy the causes of this lack of diversity. This Article seeks to understand how the bar examination, the final hurdle to entry into the profession, contributes to this lack of diversity. Using publicly available data, we analyze whether the ethnic makeup of a law school’s entering class correlates to the school’s first-time bar pass rates on the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE). We find that the higher the proportion of Black and Hispanic students in a law school’s entering class, the lower the first-time bar passage rate for that school, in its UBE jurisdictions, three years later.