The bar exam is good for many things. First, making testing companies money! Okay, that’s all I can think of. Justifications aside, it exists and people who want to practice law have to jump over the hurdle. And California places the bar high. Like really high. From Law360:
Fewer than one in three applicants who sat for California’s February bar exam passed, according to figures released Friday night by the state bar.
The 32.5% pass rate represents a slight dip from the 33.9% of applicants who passed in February 2022. Friday’s numbers mark the fourth time since 2013 that more than two-thirds of test-takers failed the winter exam.
For what it’s worth, California is far from the only state that has seen a drop in test scores:
The decrease in pass rates mirrors a slide seen in other states this year as well as a 1.5-point fall in the national mean score registered by those taking the multistate bar exam in February. Florida, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Texas saw their rates fall by 5% or more. Officials with the National Conference of Bar Examiners linked the drop to an increase in the number of repeat test-takers. More first-time applicants than usual took the February 2022 exam, which officials credited to delays in coursework and test preparation tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’d say good luck to most of you but 1) the names of the folks who passed were posted on Sunday and 2) statistically, that won’t pan out well. On the bright side, know that we are one test closer to the bar not being a thing anymore. Hopefully.
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by tweet at @WritesForRent.