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California Bar Overall Passage Rate Hits All-Time Low
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Summary: The results from the February California bar exam are now available but don’t paint a good picture.

California released the latest round of bar exam results. The February results showed the usual results with some law schools doing really well and others posting dismal scores. However, as a whole, the results were not good. The overall pass rate on the exam was 27.3 percent, an all-time low.

  
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The California bar is known for being a very difficult test to pass for graduates of law schools in California and other states. The February exam is known for having lower scores. Of first-time test takers from an American Bar Association accredited law school in California, 45.3 percent passed. Of the first-time test takers from an out-of-state ABA accredited school, 35.4 percent passed.

Most of California’s top law schools did not have more than 11 graduates taking the exam for the first time so their generally higher scores were not included in the results. Of the California ABA-accredited law schools, first-time test takers fared the best at Santa Clara University. The school had 13 graduates take the exam, with 10 passing for a 77 percent passage rate. Loyola Law School – Los Angeles came in second with a 70 percent.

For repeat takers of the exam from California ABA-accredited law schools, UC Berkeley had a 63 percent, Loyola had a 53 percent, and UCLA had a 53 percent. At the lower end of the spectrum, repeat test takers at Golden Gate University only passed with a 7 percent rate. Western State University was close behind with an 8 percent passage rate.

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Out-of-state law school Georgetown University boasted the highest passage rate for non-California ABA-accredited law schools. Their first-time test takers passed the bar with an 82 percent passage rate. Georgetown University’s graduates taking the bar exam again had a strong 47 percent. One of the most alarming scores for repeat test takers was from Washington University. The law school had 12 graduates repeat their attempt at the California bar exam but none of them passed. Thomas M. Cooley Law School was not much better with a 5 percent passage rate.

The bar exam results also included rates based on gender and race. The results showed that men taking the exam for the first time did better than women but women did better than men when repeating the exam, but by only a little. Overall, the rates were fairly even for all categories.



The results based on the race of the test takers were even more interesting. California’s ABA-accredited law school white graduates had significantly higher passage rates. Nearly 53 percent of white graduates passed the exam, 41.2 percent of Hispanic graduates passed, 36.4 percent of Asian graduates passed, and 29.4 percent of black graduates passed.

Are there any results that were surprising? Do you think all schools should be embarrassed by their scores? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about other bar results, read these articles:

Photo: law.com



 

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