This article originally appeared in The Bar Examiner print edition, Spring 2019 (Vol. 88, No. 1), pp 1.
By Michele A. Gavagni
It is spring. While some of you may have the last remnants of snow on the ground as I write this, for me the February bar exam always heralds the promise of a new season.
In Florida, we tested over 1,600 applicants in February. As the grading cycle continues throughout the country, NCBE brings you the highly anticipated statistics issue of the Bar Examiner. This issue presents data on the number of candidates taking the examination throughout the country in 2018, the passing rates, the average MBE scores, and so much more. Some jurisdictions have seen shifts in some of their numbers over the years as the number of jurisdictions administering the Uniform Bar Examination continues to increase, so it is always interesting to see the latest data.
I admit it. I like the statistics. I love to look for the meaning in the numbers. I review Florida’s numbers from year to year for planning purposes. I review Florida’s numbers compared to those of other jurisdictions. I look for patterns and trends and what can be part of the conversation back home—with my board, with the Supreme Court, and with the law schools. I look for prime numbers. (Just kidding—I don’t love them that much!)
Regardless of our jurisdictions’ testing sizes, we all share similar challenges. We try to plan for every contingency, we utilize our limited resources extremely carefully, and we always look for ways to improve our processes—from clearer communication with applicants, to increased efficiency in seating applicants and starting the exam on time, to enhanced security screening at the examination sites. The list goes on and on.
As an administrator, I always strive to make the exam experience the best possible, as it is the opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities on what is likely the most important examination of their lives so far. I know that every administrator shares that goal.
I hope that as you read this issue, and indeed every issue of the Bar Examiner, you share your takeaways with other stakeholders in bar admissions. If something resonates with you, it will likely resonate with someone in the law school environment, such as law school faculty and administrators who have a vested interest in their students’ success, or with attorneys in your firms who mentor new hires who are preparing for the bar examination.
And we are going to make sharing even easier for you to do. NCBE is proud to be launching the newest component in our communications with those in the bar admissions community and beyond. We are introducing a brand-new website dedicated to our Bar Examiner magazine. It features articles collected by topics of interest, curated news related to bar admissions, and digital subscriptions for today’s online world. We hope that you enjoy the new site, and we eagerly await your feedback so that we can continue to enhance your user experience.
Finally, I am looking forward to the NCBE Annual Bar Admissions Conference on May 2–5 in San Francisco. Our registration numbers are very high, and NCBE anticipates another exciting, informative, and thought-provoking educational event. I hope to see many of you there!
Michele (Missy) Gavagni
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