July bar exam pass rate jumps to
A total of 55.3 percent of people
who took the General Bar Examination in July passed the grueling three-day test,
making them eligible to join the State Bar of California, according to results
released in November by the Committee of Bar Examiners.
In July, 74.2 percent who took
the bar exam were first time test-takers and 68 percent of them passed. If the
4,834 people who passed the exam meet other admission requirements, they will be
eligible to join the ranks of the State Bar, a group with a membership of more
The pass rate for the July bar
exam has held fairly steady for the past decade at 50 to 62 percent. But
there were some notable trends this year.
- This year’s
crop of successful test-takers marks an increase over the 54.3 percent who
passed in July 2011.
- There was a 3
percent jump in the number of people who took the bar this year compared with July
2011. In all, 8,737 took the test compared with 8,456 who took it the previous
- It was also one
of the largest groups of test-takers in recent history. The group of 8,737
people took the exam in 2012, placing them second under the all-time largest
group of 8,908 in July 2006.
- There were 5
percent fewer people repeating the exam in 2012, but the proportion that passed
was about the same as the previous year. Of the 2,252 who took the exam again,
18 percent passed.
More detailed statistics for
individual law schools are expected to be released in January and published on
the State Bar’s website at http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/
This year’s bar exam results prove
once again that first-time test takers who attended an American Bar Association
(ABA) -accredited law school in California and took the exam for the first time
have the best chance of passing – 77 percent.
The committee also released
results for the annual exam for attorneys. Among the group of 435 lawyers who
took the Attorney’s Examination, 152 (34.9 percent) passed, just slightly under
the same number who passed in July 2011. Of the 25 disciplined lawyers who took
the attorneys’ exam as a condition of being reinstated to the bar, only one
The attorneys’ exam is open to
lawyers who have practiced for at least four in another state and who have a
record of good standing.
Those who passed their exams are
now eligible to take the attorney’s oath and participate in admission
ceremonies in December, as long as they have met other requirements, such as
receiving a positive moral character determination and passing the Multistate
Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).