I see that a former student's lawsuit against St. Thomas School of Law in Miami has generated some attention. The complaint alleges (¶ ¶ 25-26) that St. Thomas devised a plan to expell students in the bottom quarter of the class with the intention of boosting its low bar pass rate. (Not much chance for class certification on this one, I'd imagine.) Over at elsblog, the always thoughtful Bill Henderson is interested in how the lawsuit might lead to some reconsideration of strategies to improve the bar pass rate and asks for the ABA to collect and disclose data on student attrition. (It's been a while since I looked at the ABA take-offs, but I thought they already collect this data, though they may not disclose it). Orin Kerr also comments briefly on the suit at volokh. Over at overlawyered, they provide the complaint and laugh at the suit.
I agree this suit won't go far. And I agree with Henderson that we as educators need to make sure we're doing everything reasonably possible to make sure that our students pass the bar (and get a quality education). (Along those lines, Henderson links to an important essay by Linda Jellum and Emmeline Reeves on the University of Richmond's academic support program's effect on bar pass rates.)
But I think this raises some important issues for MoneyLaw. Bar pass rates tell us a lot about the output of law schools. Perhaps it's worth spending a little time with the old spreadsheet, comparing ranks of law schools' students with their bar pass rates....
Alfred L. Brophy