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Belmont College of Law first in the state for first-time bar passage

94.5 percent of Belmont law students who took the Tennessee Bar Exam for the first time in July passed.

This was the highest rate of passage for any school in the state and the highest percentage in Belmont history.

College of Law Dean Alberto Gonzales expected a high percentage of law students to pass, but he was pleased to find that the rate was even higher than he expected, he said.

“We emphasize bar passage, that’s something that’s very important for our graduates,” said Gonzales.

The state average for first-time test takers in July was 76.85 percent, compared to Belmont’s 94.5 percent rate, according to a press release from Belmont’s Office of Communications.

For College of Law student Eric Harris, Belmont’s high pass rate affirmed his decision to come to the university. He has especially appreciated professor Jeff Kinsler’s bar refresher class, he said.

“We review all the classes, because you learn so much, but you don’t remember all the details, so it gives us a good baseline for graduation,” said Harris.

Belmont’s law school — which received its full American Bar Association accreditation in 2016 — has been able to attract strong students in the past, and the high bar passage rates will further the school’s reputation even more, Gonzales said.

“We’d like to think that we’re a good law school and hope to become an even better one,” said Gonzales.

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Photo by Caitlin Alexander

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