Graduates of Santa Clara University School of Law have exceeded the California ABA– accredited law school average pass rate on the state’s bar examination for the third year in a row.

Santa Clara Law’s pass rate for first-time takers for the July 2017 exam was 79 percent. This is nine points higher than the average for first-time takers from California ABA–accredited law schools, 17 points higher than the average for all first-time takers, and 30 points above the overall pass rate.

This 79 percent pass rate puts Santa Clara Law among the top six law schools in California, behind Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, UC Irvine, and tied with UC Davis.

“Our students worked hard, and we should all be tremendously proud of them,” said Lisa Kloppenberg, dean and professor of law. “As a law school community, year after year we have risen to the challenge of training our students for this exam by making careful changes to our curriculum, offering additional lectures for bar preparation, and focusing on the bar without sacrificing other important lessons needed to train our future attorneys.”

Professor Michael Flynn, director of the Law School’s Office of Academic and Bar Success and associate clinical professor of law, worked tirelessly to help Santa Clara Law students perform at their best in addition to spearheading the efforts of faculty and staff.

“We are deeply proud of our graduates’ success,” said Flynn. “They rose to meet the challenge of the most difficult bar exam in the country with dedication, hard work, and support for each other. Our faculty and staff continue to come together and support our students’ academic and personal needs from the first day they walk through our doors.”

Reviewing available data for the July bar exam since 2002, this marks Santa Clara Law’s second-highest overall pass rate and greatest spread above the California ABA–accredited average. “Yet there are still challenges ahead, and we must remain diligent and dedicated,” Flynn continued. “We look forward to building on this success and fostering the next generation of attorneys who will serve with conscience and compassion.”


percent of Santa Clara Law graduates who passed the July 2017 bar on first attempt


points higher than average for first-time takers from California ABA–accredited law schools


points higher than the average for all first-time takers


points above the overall pass rate

Top 6 in CA

Santa Clara Law’s ranking for bar passage rate