By: Halee Snellgrove-Maturin
Booker T. Washington once said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life [but] by the obstacles which [one] has overcome while trying to succeed.” By Washington’s standard, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center has produced successful students within this past year’s graduating class. As current students, we can certainly agree that law school is a big obstacle, if not the biggest obstacle, that we have encountered so far in our professional careers. Not only does law school push you to the brink of your educational endurance and your drive to excel, but it also forces you to do so under sleepless conditions and caffeine highs and lows. This past spring, 184 graduates overcame that obstacle and officially became alumni – as well as success stories – of the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
However, their journey was not over once they crossed the stage and received their diplomas – these graduates then began the grueling task of preparing for the long-anticipated Louisiana bar exam. Luckily, LSU Law has reason to celebrate thanks to these graduates. Of the 150 LSU Law graduates who registered to take the Louisiana bar exam in July of this year, 117 applicants passed the bar and officially became licensed to practice law in this state. That translates to LSU Law School having a 78% pass rate, which is the highest of the four law schools in Louisiana. The results were even more impressive for LSU Law’s first-time test takers. 139 of those 150 LSU-educated bar applicants were taking the bar exam for the first time, and of those 139 applicants, 115 of them passed, giving LSU Law an 83% pass rate for first-time bar applicants.
Scott Ogden, a 2015 graduate from LSU Law and one of the students who passed the Louisiana bar exam, compared the testing experience to law school. “The bar exam is like law school insofar as:
A.) It gets hyped up to be more psychologically debilitating than it really is [despite it being a 21-hour exam];
B.) It’s a game of learning what to study, rather than trying to study all of the things;
C.) There will always be that one person who succeeds that makes you realize it wasn’t as hard as you thought; and
D.) It’s probably not even remotely indicative of who will be a good attorney.”
Having said all of that, Ogden still recognizes the importance of the bar exam. He reiterated that this is an extremely long and expensive exam that determines whether or not your prospective employers become your actual employers, so it is in your best interest to study hard and bring your A-game on test day. July’s test results are an indication that the law community will continue to see great things from these successful graduates