St. Mary’s University School of Law graduates earned the highest bar passage rate in 17 years, continuing the progress of the last few years.

In the July exam, 87 percent of first-time test takers passed; 188 St. Mary’s students took the bar exam and 164 passed.

St. Mary’s was inline with the statewide average and just below powerhouses such as Baylor University, Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas, which posted rates in the low 90 percentages.

“At St. Mary’s our faculty gives our law students the academic foundation and support they need to prepare for the bar exam,” said Charles E. Cantú, dean of St. Mary’s School of Law. “However, in the end, the students are the ones who are responsible for this success. They’ve worked very hard and we are proud of them.”

Cantú also attributes the upward trend to higher admission standards, a more stringent grading system, summer skills sharpening classes and bar preparation courses partially funded by law school alumni.

Another point of pride for Cantú, minority enrollment is at a healthy 36 percent. On average, St. Mary’s is the second highest law school in the state for minority enrollment.

A complete list of the bar passage rates can be found on the Texas Board of Law Examiners’ website.

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