POOR BAR PASSAGE RATES: Law Deans blame Bar Exam, but when New Mexico switched, pass rates got worse.

This year, the University of New Mexico School of Law started giving the national exam, which is used in about half of U.S. states.

The results weren’t pretty. The number of students who passed the exam on their first try (68 percent) in July was down 13 percentage points compared to July 2015 (81 percent) on the old state exam. Those who failed were disproportionately minorities and women. None of the 14 Native American students who took the test passed.

The law school’s two deans – another arrangement rather unique to New Mexico – said, in a letter to alumni and other people associated with the school, that some other states that adopted the test also saw pass rates drop as well. But Arizona, which adopted the test in 2012, was not one of them. And Colorado’s pass rate dropped slightly from 2012 to 2015.

Maybe the students aren’t being taught the law that the bar examiners expect them to know.