The Umphrey Lee Cenotaph in SMU's law quadSMU’s Dedman School of Law has scored the state’s highest passing rates for first-time test takers on the July 2008 bar exam, according to the Texas Board of Law Examiners. The school earned a 93.97 percent success rate, with 218 of 232 alumni passing the bar exam on their first attempt.

Overall, 85 percent of first-time test takers passed the bar exam. Passing the exam is required to become a licensed lawyer.

SMU had the second-highest passing rate last year. Bar passage rates have increased since the Dedman School expanded its curriculum a few years ago to increase its focus on the basics of law and legal writing, says Law Dean John B. Attanasio.

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