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Published: Tuesday, 11/14/2000

Progress at UT Law

What good news it is to see the University of Toledo Law School coming back from the slough into which its graduates, unable to pass the bar exam, had sunk.

UT's law graduates this year have moved from the basement of bar-exam takers up to fourth place in Ohio in a nine-school field. And while credit is certainly due the would-be lawyers, who worked hard to prepare for the test, a good measure must also accrue to the law school itself, its professors, and its dean, Philip Closius.

While he said that the era of the school's poor performance coincided with a change in the way the bar exam was graded, it was more by way of observing, not whining.

That out of the way, he set about trying to turn the situation around, overseeing changes in curriculum, developing programs geared to help students pass the state exam, and encouraging students not to work while they studied for the test - simple, practical things that obviously made a difference. Still, there is room for more improvement.

Again, as in prior years, the law school's repeat takers dragged down the overall pass percentages. Ways must be developed to improve their performances as well.

The fact of repeating may speak to the difficulty of success after a failure, but that needn't be the case. While none of the University of Cincinnati Law School's repeat takers passed the exam and only 33 per cent of the University of Toledo Law School's did, some 63 per cent of exam repeaters from Ohio State's law school passed.

Something better is obviously happening there than at other law schools in the state, including Toledo. With what Dean Closius has shown northwest Ohio during this go-round, we expect Ohio State's advantage with this group to be temporary and that progress will continue to be made with first-time bar exam takers.

For now, we'll acknowledge progress, and watch for it to continue.

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