Wednesday, October 12, 2005

AMSOL again receives glowing praise; #1 in the nation in federal clerkships per capita!

In the midst of the current issues surrounding the law school, let us not forget how far the school has come in just five years. The intent of this blog was never to disparage the law school in any way- for we all recognize how successful and unique it is. Rather, our primary goal is keeping the first-rate excellence of the school, which of course is due to all of the people who built it up, but also due to its location in Ann Arbor. This is often overlooked, for in Michigan we developed a healthy rivalry with the University of Michigan, and have an amazing amount of legal resources at our fingertips, not to mention the legal community nearby in Detroit, which provides numerous clerkships and valuable hands-on experience for our students and alumni. Here is a recent story by the BYU News Net that highlights the positive experience LDS students have had at AMSOL. Near the end, we see that AMSOL is #1 in a very significant area:

"Ave Maria boasts the largest per capita number of federal clerkships, the most prestigious a law graduate can go into, than any other law school in the nation, which is particularly impressive as the school opened only five years ago. They also exceed the nation in BAR pass rates — last year the graduating class had a 100 percent pass rate for the Michigan BAR."

Thanks to all of the faculty, staff, alumni, and students who continue to make AMSOL thrive in Michigan!

Just so no one can keep using the refrain that AMSOL's Michigan bar rates are an anomaly or from a very small sampling, AMSOL is ranked #15 nationally in bar passage rates:

National Rankings: First-Time Bar Passage Percentages

15. ---- Ave Maria School of Law ---- 93%


At 11:53 AM, Blogger Res_Ipsa_Loquitur said...

Not to offend, but if I recall correctly, Ave only had 12 people take the Michigan bar that particular year. That's like saying Ave had a 100% pass rate on the New Jersey bar, ignoring that only 1 person took it in that state.

It seems a little self-inflating to keep throwing out that "100%" statistic without the full context.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger ave law graduate said...

That statement isn't very accurate. While 12 students is low for last year, the year before we had a comparable number of students take the Michigan bar compared to University of Michigan. I think it was something like 28 for us and then 40 for them...and we beat them that year too.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger GenXsurvivor said...

For federal clerkships, perhaps more than half (I haven't run the numbers exactly) are repeat hires from MICHIGAN federal judges, while the number of judges hiring from outside the state is expanding, but more slowly. Who can doubt that the Michigan hires be less reliable if we move to Florida, and that they will just hire from Notre Dame again? Does it make any sense to run the risk that we can get the same results by starting from scratch elsewhere? Are any BOGs reading this???

At 5:45 PM, Blogger The_Peach said...

Graduate, I don't think that Res meant to belittle AMSOL's bar performance relative to U of M. He was merely pointing out that using the "100%" statistic in the context of 12 people is a little misleading.

In undergrad I took a fascinating course on deciphering potentially misleading statistics. Use of percentages, where they are more impressive than numbers, is a classic method of putting a spin on the facts, so to speak. Yes, the stats are a fact, but in all honesty, are they an accurate reflection of reality? Should a Catholic law school use statistics if they misrepresent? It's a rhetorical question. I'm not sure myself. Any takers?

At 6:42 PM, Blogger Sine Metu said...

9 of the 23 federal clerkships obtained by AMSOL graduates are with judges in Michigan. Judges Gadola, Zatkoff, Ryan, and Suhrheinrich are responsible for all of those hires.

At 10:27 PM, Blogger res_ipsa_loquitur said...

Hey, the National Rankings are fantastic, and nobody's contesting that. I just think we shouldn't be misrepresenting that "100% in Michigan" statistic as illustrative of academic superiority, that's all. Again, what's the difference practical difference between saying 12 out of 12 passed in MI vs. 1 out of 1 in NJ? 60 out of 60 is an impressive statistic and worthy of bragging rights. 12 out of 12, not so much.

At 7:45 AM, Blogger GenXsurvivor said...

Thank you sine metu for the exact clerkship numbers.

At 2:10 PM, Blogger stats said...

Yeah, I don't know where you are getting your numbers, but the nationwide stats for Ave Maria is a bar passage rate of 83%. Check out Princeton review on-line. My guess is they got the numbers from Ave Maria or the ABA. I have known for sometime that Ave Maria's bar passage rate nationally is not nearly as good as their Michigan Bar passage rate. If you compare Ave Maria's overall passage rate of 83%, Ave Maria would be ranked at 77 or 78. This would put us equal with Wayne State. Not bad for a school that has been around for 5 years, but certainly not as good as Ave Maria puffers would have us believe.

At 5:41 AM, Blogger NO man said...

Can you give us some website that backs up your 83% claim?

At 9:35 AM, Blogger res_ipsa_loquitur said...

Check out the ABA's report at This is apparently the report which approved Ave's accreditation; they note "Placement statistics for the first graduating class in 2003 were reported as 91% known to be employed (42% in Michigan, 56% out of state, and 2% abroad). Seventeen percent of the class of 2003 secured a judicial clerkship. The graduates in 2003 sat for the bar examination in 20 different states. They passed at a rate of 90.6%. In Michigan they achieved the highest pass rate in the state (93%). The class of 2004 took the bar examination in 18 states and had a national pass rate of 85%. All of the 11 who sat for the bar in Michigan passed."

At 10:28 AM, Blogger stats said...


You are going to have to register to access the page.

Highlights of the report you might be interested in:

Pass rate for first time Bar Exam takers: 82%
Placement rate: 83%
Students employed upon graduation: 34%
Students employed in 3 months: 45%

Actually I was wrong, Ave Maria's first time bar passage rate is 82%. That would rank Ave Maria below Wayne State and equivalent to University of South Carolina.

But that's okay for Ave Maria puffers, just so long as we can discuss our vague knowledge of the Natural Law as we stand in the unemployment line together. I am sure Catholic social teaching will make for scintillating conversation in bankruptcy court.

Light up and smoke if you have 'em.

At 5:58 PM, Blogger GenXsurvivor said...

From your link:

"The graduates in 2003 sat for the bar examination in 20 different states. They passed at a rate of 90.6%. In Michigan they achieved the highest pass rate in the state (93%). The class of 2004 took the bar examination in 18 states and had a national pass rate of 85%. All of the 11 who sat for the bar in Michigan passed."

At 10:15 PM, Blogger statsman said...

Umm, this is the link I meant to post:<ID=5

At 9:56 AM, Blogger GenXsurvivor said...

The ABA's numbers are more reliable, especially since for 2003 I personally counted that percentage, and since the class of 2004 would have had to score in the 70's (which I seriously doubt) to bring us down to 83%. I don't know where Princeton is getting that number. Someone should tell our career services to check and see if Princeton has made an error.

The Michigan numbers are significant, at least for 2003 when we had more taking the bar exam there, because it is the state where we had the most test takers, and we had a statistically similar number of test takers as the University of Michigan, who we beat (Michigan was UM's biggest test state as well, if I recall correctly).

At 2:53 PM, Blogger The Reluctant Lawyer said...

What percentage of the clerkships are appellate and what percentage are district court clerkships?

At 9:01 PM, Blogger GenXsurvivor said...

I know of at least 9 appellate. Anyone count more?


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