California Bar Committee Endorses Lowering Exam Pass-Score

, The Recorder


A California State Bar committee stocked with law school deans recommended on Wednesday that the Supreme Court reduce the bar exam passing score from 144 to as low as 135. The Law School Council endorsed setting the state's passing score between 135 and 139, a lower range than the 141 to 144 that a previous bar-commissioned study had suggested.

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What's being said

  • Darren McKinney, American Tort Reform Association, Washington, D.C.

    The once Golden State has been hyper-litigious for decades, so it needs more mediocre parasites licensed to practice law like it needs a 7.8 magnitude earthquake or several more wild fires.

  • RockHunter

    Instead of lowering the score, they should raise it and scold professors for the following: -- not setting higher standards for law school admission -- giving easy grades to students who don‘t deserve to be attorneys -- not teaching the relevant topics needed to pass Law schools who don‘t require students to seriously exert themselves to pass courses and earn a diploma should be closed. Serious students will work hard to meet high standards if those high standards are in place. But, allow them to slack off during their time in law school and they will hit an exam that they are unable to pass.

  • Katherine

    Everyday I encounter stupid and incompetent lawyers in my litigation practice. Many are designated specialists by our holy Bar. So why not lower the pass score and admit more stupid and incompetent lawyers to prey on the public and water down any value left in a California law license. Like Jim‘s comment, I can‘t wait to retire and leave this state. The Bar is stupid, self serving, and out for the money.

  • Phyllis Cheng

    Thank goodness the State Bar‘s Committee of Bar examiners voted 13-1 Thursday (8/31/17) against lowering the bar passage cut rate until two other studies are done. Let‘s hope the Bar will not lower standards. Public protection and professional standards are at stake.

  • Jim

    I can honestly say I am glad to see my time as an attorney in this state coming to an end. In a few years when I close shop if a few more "classes" have problems with the test I would expect those in charge to continue to just lower the standards. I see those lowering of standards with the organizations I represent and am amazed that some have even graduated H.S. Like most things in this state, there is a desired end result and whatever the means it is justified. My recent trip to our courts highest court left me absolutely dismayed at the lack of common sense but not shocked. Agenda driven at all levels. The day I retire, and like so many of my friends, leave this state and take all my assets with me will be a welcome day indeed. I have never been sure just what our bar association did for the average attorney, but this step speaks in leaps and bounds about the overall direction this state is headed.

  • Anonymous

    The Bar should be equal opportunity committee that blinds on the takers. Discussing what the success rate would have been for certain ethnic groups had the passing score been lower is a totally wrong direction. Please make your purpose known in this task; is it to collect more bar due or improving the quality of practicing attorneys?

  • Anonymous

    While the "high" test score requirement may be a "poor predictor of competence and ethical adherence," the fact that one fails a bar exam certainly is a good indicator of lack of competence. How about improving the quality of law students and law schools, rather than lowering the passing score? It‘s not like California needs more incompetent lawyers to be practicing law.

  • Phyllis Cheng

    Lowering the California State Bar pass score is a race to the bottom. Public protection and professional standards will suffer. Law schools and law students need to do better. Shame on the State Bar Committee for its lack of accountability!

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