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McGeorge School of Law graduates score second-highest bar pass rate among law schools in California

One male individual and one female individual wearing graduation regalia pose for a photo in the basement of an event venue

Jackson Hadden, ’21, and Aliya Gorelick, '21, participate in McGeorge School of Law's graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 28. Hadden and Gorelick were both members of the school's Accelerated Honors Program.

100 percent of Accelerated Honors Program students passed the bar exam on their first try

Students at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law continue to set the bar. McGeorge graduates earned the second highest bar exam pass rate for first-time test takers among ABA-accredited law schools in California for the second year in a row. McGeorge graduates also had the third highest pass rate for the California bar exam among all ABA-accredited law schools in the United States.

Once again, all of the graduates from the law school’s Accelerated Honors Program have passed the California Bar Exam on their first attempt, maintaining the law school’s pristine, 100 percent bar exam pass rate for honors program graduates. By comparison, statewide, only 53 percent of first time test-takers and 33.9 percent of test-takers total passed the February 2022 bar exam.

The honors program at McGeorge School of Law is the only honors accelerated JD program in the country, allowing students to obtain their law licenses six months early and begin practicing law as attorneys ahead of their counterparts in traditional three-year, full-time programs. Program graduates are competitive job applicants and save a semester of expenses.

Program alumnus Jackson Hadden, ’21, is one of the students who passed the February 2022 bar exam. Taking the bar early enabled him to start practicing law at the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office, where he works on trials in the Misdemeanor Unit.

“The Accelerated Honors Program was nice because it allowed me to start practicing really soon compared to people on a standard track,” Hadden remarked. “I would not even have taken the bar by now if I hadn’t graduated early, which is a huge perk.”

Founded in 2018, the honors program was designed by Professor Emeritus Dorothy Landsberg and then-Associate Dean Michael Colatrella. Students in the honors program enroll in regular courses and electives, in addition to a special one-unit seminar course taught by Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz.

After their first year, students take a heavier course load than traditional JD students, consisting of 17 units per semester. Additionally, students complete a 10-week honors externship during the summer. McGeorge covers the cost of tuition for summer externship courses, saving students thousands of dollars while they extern in placements such as Trial and Appellate Judges’ chambers, the California Attorney General's Office, the Fair Political Practice Commission, and other non-profit and governmental agencies.

“The results speak for themselves,” Schwartz said. “We are so proud that the rigor of the program continuous to pay off in the success of the students.”

Accelerated Honors Program applicants are required to have particularly high undergraduate GPAs and LSAT scores and successfully navigate an interview with a McGeorge faculty member to be accepted.


For more information about McGeorge of Law, visit our website.

Media Contacts: Ashley Golledge, Director of Marketing and Communications, agolledge@pacific.edu, 916.325.4687; and Victoria Ambriz, Marketing Coordinator, vambriz@pacific.edu, 916.325.4631.