...in fact, they appear to over-predict them!
What do you mean, I hear people say? Well, the ABA just published first-time bar passage rates across all law schools in one handy document (for the first time, it appears). For those of us that like to use data to make our arguments (e.g. scamblogs) instead of feel-good platitudes to make our arguments (*cough* *cough* Law School Cartel), it's certainly useful.
Recently highlighted were the 2017 first-time bar passage rates for the following schools: University of DC, Florida Coastal, Whittier, TJSL, and Arizona Summit. One can also go to the ABA to find the median LSAT scores for 2014 for these same schools - the class that approximately represents the 2017 bar passage data. Also, we recently complied 600 data points correlating median LSAT scores with first-time bar passage rates from the 2010-2012 timeframe.
Comparing the results:
1st-time bar pass
University of DC
Overall, these schools did worse BY HALF than one would expect from the prediction. Some items that could affect this outcome: (1) by including "all" the bar-passage data to make a prediction, the prediction may skew high overall, (2) the data used to make the prediction is approximately eight years old as of this date, so the prediction requires updating, (3) the prediction is too broad across all ABA-accredited law schools, and should be analyzed by groupings/rank/tier/something, (4) gremlins.
In any event, the actual results are not positive, at least where the students are concerned. Whether the Cartel likes it or not, some sort of gate-keeping mechanism is necessary for the protection of both the profession and the individual. Unless one merely views students as a resource to be consumed, of course.