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Author Topic: July 2013 Bar Exam Results  (Read 2353 times)

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2014, 03:35:23 AM »
With regard to the CA bar specifically,  it has one of the lowest pass rates primarily because it permits anyone to sit for the bar irrespective of whether or not they graduated from an ABA accredited law school. Most other states, by contrast, only allow ABA grads to sit for their respective bar exams. When you compare ABA stats to ABA stats, it becomes apparent that California is not the "hardest bar exam in the country" that most think it is.

Take look at the statistics available on Calbar's site. Non-ABA grads made up a whopping 6% of first time test takers last February. If every single non-ABA grad failed, the effect would only be 6%.

Fully accredited ABA schools from out of state often have pass rates in CA that are 20-30%, even though their in state pass rates are 80-90%. The fact that CA has a tougher than usual bar exam is evidenced not by the handful of non-ABA grads who fail, but by the thousands and thousands of fully accredited ABA grads who fail.

I wouldn't use data from the February exam as the standard for bar passage in any state because the February exam is typically comprised of repeat takers who were unsuccessful during the July exam.  Studies show that your chances of passing actually diminish after your first attempt, thus the February passage rates in most any state, including California, will historically be lower for February than they are for July.

That said, many claim that the California bar exam is the most difficult based on its July passage rate which, for ALL takers is usually around 55%. However, "ALL" takers literally means everyone, including the repeat takers who, as discussed above, typically do not do well on their subsequent attempts.  When you look at only the first-time takers of the CA bar exam, the bar passage rate is actually 68%.  When we look at first-time takers from CA's ABA schools, that number jumps up to a 79% pass rate. As far as bar exams go, a 79% pass rate is actually pretty high.

http://www.protectconsumerjustice.org/california-bar-exam-pass-rates-by-law-school.html

http://abovethelaw.com/2011/01/california-bar-exam-results-open-thread/

For an apples to apples comparison, the bar passage rate for first-time takers at New York's ABA accredited law schools hovers around 85%. That's only a 6 point difference between the two states.

You said that:
Quote
"Fully accredited ABA schools from out of state often have pass rates in CA that are 20-30%"

That's actually not true.  For the July 2013 California Bar Exam, the bar passage rate for ABA schools from out of state was 64.2% (906 out of 1,411 out of state students passed). That same stat for July 2012 was 63.6% (907 out of 1,425). In other words, the majority of out of state students at ABA schools pass the California bar exam.

That's not to take away from the difficulty of the California bar exam.  It is, without question, one of the most difficult bar exams in the country. However, people should understand that it's not much worse than other states when you look at ABA schools (which is what most of us have attended, are attending, or will attend).
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FreshlyMinted

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Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2014, 03:24:09 PM »
I think there is no question that an ABA grad is more likely to pass the bar exam than a CBA grad and someone who obtained a 180 LSAT score is more likely to pass the bar than someone who scored 150. It is entirely possible however, for both to pass, both to fail, or the 180 LSAT Harvard grad to not pass and the 150 LSAT CBA grad to pass.

At the end of the day whether you succeed or not in anything is up to the individual, but some people have an easier road to success than others. If you have the raw intelligence to score a 180 on the LSAT the road will be easier for you than someone who despite their best efforts achieved a 145 LSAT score.

That statement implies that everyone can pass if they try hard enough. That isn't true. Some do not have the ability to ever pass , no matter how hard they try. Its depressing but it is a fact.

Citylaw

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Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2014, 10:04:09 PM »
Perhaps there was a miscommunication certainly some people are not capable of passing the bar no matter how hard they try. Perhaps they cannot handle the pressure of the exam, cannot grasp the concept of IRAC, which is not tested on the LSAT etc.

My point was simply that passing the bar is easier for some and harder for others. There are people no matter how hard they try will not be able to pass.


Maintain FL 350

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Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2014, 12:44:49 PM »
@Burning Sands:

By any metric (overall pass rate, first time pass rate, in-state, out of state, etc), California consistently ranks at or near the bottom in terms of pass rates. The pass rates don't exist in a vacuum, and have to be compared to other states' pass rates.

The overall pass rate (55%) is low in comparison to other states' overall pass rates, which are often in the 75-85% range. The first time pass rate is also quite low, compared to other states' first time pass rates. A few other jurisdictions such as D.C. and Louisiana also have similarly low rates.

You said that:
Quote
"Fully accredited ABA schools from out of state often have pass rates in CA that are 20-30%"

That's actually not true.  For the July 2013 California Bar Exam, the bar passage rate for ABA schools from out of state was 64.2% (906 out of 1,411 out of state students passed). That same stat for July 2012 was 63.6% (907 out of 1,425). In other words, the majority of out of state students at ABA schools pass the California bar exam.

Once again, I would argue that 63-64% is comparatively low. But here's something to consider: that statistic is an average. California attracts large numbers of out of state applicants, many from elite or at least well respected schools. Some of these schools have very high pass rates, and others look like this:

Michigan State 36%
Univ of Arizona 21%
Syracuse 25%
Univ of Nevada 29%
Suffolk 10%

(These are from the July, 2013 bar)

Each of these schools has an 75-90% pass rate in their home state. The 64% rate you mentioned averages these performances with those of Harvard and Yale. If anything, the out of state pass rate is probably somewhat inflated by the number of elite law grads who flock to California. I mean, how many Harvard/Columbia/Chicago, etc. grads are taking the Louisiana bar?

This article is by a prof at Pepperdine. It's interesting. He took numerous factors into account, not just pass rates, to rank the difficulty level of bar exams. Guess which ranks as most difficult?

 http://abovethelaw.com/2013/04/which-state-has-the-most-difficult-bar-exam/