Lawmakers Ask Calif. Chief Justice to Cut State Bar Exam Score

"Whether the cut score is arbitrary or not, the impact of that score is severe," Assembly Judiciary Committee members write in a letter to Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye.

, The Recorder


Democratic members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee asked the California Supreme Court on Thursday to temporarily reduce the required passing score on the state bar exam.

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What's being said

  • Katherine

    This fixation on the pass rate is stupid. And that‘s the problem-no one is willing to say out loud that some people are too stupid to pass the bar. I agree that there is some legislator out there who‘s kid is too stupid to pass the bar. Tying the argument to legal aid is stupid too. Legal aid should have stupid lawyers?

  • Dave

    We have no shortage of attorneys in California. Why let more in if they can‘t pass the test? Perhaps the problem with lower passage rates in recent years has something to do with the caliber of people taking the exam. It should not be the public‘s problem if law schools admit less qualified students who ultimately can‘t pass the bar--but it will be the public‘s problem if the standard is lowered to accommodate those who can‘t meet the standard that has been in place for decades. I highly doubt those people not passing will be flooding legal aid agencies with applications if they do pass, so I don‘t see the argument that indigent needs are not being met. I‘m ranting. This is just so ridiculous.

  • Henry Betke

    Let‘s give trophies to everyone and next year get rid of the scoreboard... EVERYONE Wins! Except the poor SOB who gets that attorney as a Public Defender. DUMB DUMB DUMB

  • James S.

    I agree with the Voice of Reason. We are the only state that permits non-ABA schools to operate. If we choose to reduce the standard for determining competency, then we need to raise the standard of the education level by only permitting the ABA schools to educate. The argument for "access to justice" cannot be an excuse for permitting the public to become victims of inadequately trained attorneys permitted in under reduced standards. When the lawmakers stated "“it was unclear that there is a rational basis, let alone a close evidence-based connection, between California’s high cut scores and protecting the public.” they fail to state that there is a high standard protecting the public today. You can‘t argue a fact with an absence of fact.

  • Voice of Reason

    Perhaps there should be a study. It should focus on: A) Whether California should stop letting students from non-ABA schools take the test - take them out of the equation and the pass rate goes way up. B) Whether the law schools should stop trying to overpopulate their classes for financial reasons and only admit those that are likely to pass, C) Whether we going to retroactively admit those that received a lower score on past tests? D) Who on the judiciary committee has friends or family that can‘t seem to pass the test? I haven‘t really noticed a shortage of California lawyers. Have you?

  • Jim T

    Why not just let everyone in that takes the test, what the heck they tried so they should not be left behind. It used to routinely by in the 40‘s so why is the current group crying about it.

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