"The credentials of the class that just took the July exam are consistent with the class that had the 94 percent pass rate," he said.
Nonetheless, the dean said, improving the pass rate is his highest priority.
"Bar passes and jobs are inextricably tied," Crowell said. "This is fundamental to the mission of our law school. I am more than confident we will bounce back in very short order."
With its 83.5 percent pass rate this year, the City University of New York School of Law shot to the #7 slota nearly 17-percentage point increase over last year's 67 percent pass rate, which placed the school at the bottom of the pack.
Dean Michelle Anderson said she was "pleased" with CUNY Law's improved pass rate, "especially since this was the largest class of first-time takers" from the school.
She pointed out that the number of CUNY Law graduates taking the exam each year is small.
This year, 121 first-time candidates from CUNY Law took the July exam. Only Syracuse University School of Law had a lower number, at 114. The lower the number of exam takers, the more susceptible the pass rate is to fluctuation.
"We won't be satisfied until we produce consistently strong numbers five years in a row," Anderson said. "This year we developed a bar mentoring program for recent graduates that we think made a difference, and we plan to continue to enhance our bar support program for future classes."
Improved pass rateslike those for CUNY Law, Fordham University School of Law, the Maurice A. Dean School of Law at Hofstra University, Albany Law School and Pace Law Schoolwere the exception this year, as the majority of schools posted lower rates.
Touro Law, for example, reported the second biggest percentage decline this year, to 74 percent from 83 percent last year. The result dropped the school to the #14 slot from #9.