Patricia Salkin, who became dean of Touro Law earlier this year, called the rate "disappointing."
"Three times in the past five years our pass rate has surpassed 80 percent," she said. "We are disappointed with this drop from last year's 83 percent pass rate, and the faculty and I have already begun meetings to assess differences in the data from last year to this year and to identify strategies to implement immediately to ensure that the 2012 experience remains an anomaly."
Touro Law, she added, plans to "redouble our efforts" to ensure more students take advantage of "bar preparation supports."
With its 83 percent pass rate, St. John's University School of Law dipped below the state average for the first time in several years. Last year, the school posted an 88 percent pass rate.
Noting that "bar passage has always been a strength of St. John's," Dean Michael Simons said that to keep the pass rate up, the school earlier this semester began a new initiative focused on preparing the most at-risk students for the exam.
"I am optimistic that effort will bear fruit in the years to come," he said.
Improved Pass Rates
Albany Law's 81.5 percent pass rate represents an increase for the third consecutive year.
Penelope "Penny" Andrews, who became dean of Albany Law in June, called the improvement "significant and indicates that we are moving in the right direction."
"Our passage rate rose while the state average fell," she noted. "While we need to improve even further next year, our focus for the class of 2012 bar passers now shifts to helping them all secure employment, and helping those who did not pass the bar have success on the February 2013 exam."
Hofstra Law also posted an improved pass rate for the third year in a row.
While interim dean Eric Lane called the result "encouraging," he said Hofstra Law "plans to do better" by continuing to strengthen its programs and meeting with students one-on-one to prepare them for the exam.