California Bar Exam Statistics

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California Bar Exam Statistics 2023: Facts about Bar Exam in California reflect the current socio-economic condition of the state.


LLCBuddy editorial team did hours of research, collected all important statistics on California Bar Exam, and shared those on this page. Our editorial team proofread these to make the data as accurate as possible. We believe you don’t need to check any other resources on the web for the same. You should get everything here only 🙂

Are you planning to start a California LLC business in 2023? Maybe for educational purposes, business research, or personal curiosity, whatever it is – it’s always a good idea to gather more information.

How much of an impact will California Bar Exam Statistics have on your day-to-day? or the day-to-day of your LLC Business? How much does it matter directly or indirectly? You should get answers to all your questions here.

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Top California Bar Exam Statistics 2023

☰ Use “CTRL+F” to quickly find statistics. There are total 31 California Bar Exam Statistics on this page 🙂

California Bar Exam “Latest” Statistics

  • The National Conference of Bar Examiners reports that 64% of prospective attorneys nationally who took the bar test in 2004, the most recent year for which national figures are available, passed.[1]
  • According to Brian Kunzi, the bar’s director of admissions, there were 313 test takers in July 2019 and 304 test takers in August in the state.[3]
  • 48.2% of Californian’s who took the regular bar test in July 2004 passed it. 55.3% passed in 2000 and 59.4% passed in 1995.[1]
  • The Bar Test pass rate is at a 12 year high, according to Pilar Escontras, who unsuccessfully sought to have the state’s bar exam requirement waived before the California supreme court.[4]
  • According to a press release from the State Bar of California on January 8, 60.7% of the 9,301 candidates who took the state’s online bar test in October passed.[3]
  • About 1.5% of the 3,190 instances that were first reported as cheating or rule violations for the October Bar Test have been confirmed by the state bar, spokeswoman Teresa Ruano told Bloomberg law on Friday.[4]
  • 3,995 candidates passed the General Bar Exam, according to the State Bar’s publication of exam results for the July 2021 California bar exam.[6]
  • In the February 2022 California bar exam, the overall pass rate was 34% with first time pass rate of 53% and repeater pass rate of 24%. The results were released last May 6, 2022.[6]
  • The National Conference of Bar examiners reports that 64% of prospective attorneys nationally who took the bar test in 2004, the most recent year for which national figures are available, passed.[1]
  • The first in person test since February 2020, the California General Bar exam, was taken in February 2022, and the state bar today revealed that 1,056 candidates, or 33.9% , passed.[10]
  • The State Bar of California stated today that 3,886 persons, or 50.1% of candidates, passed the general bar exam in July 2019, returning the pass rate to that of 2017.[11]

California Bar Exam “Examination” Statistics

  • In all, 74% of first-time test takers passed the exam, up from 64% in the in person examination that was administered in July 2019.[4]

California Bar Exam “Exam” Statistics

  • First-time test takers from Golden State institutions who took the California Bar exam in July 2021 had the greatest success percentage among graduates of the University of California, Berkeley school of law.[2]
  • Comparatively, 7,764 persons took the pre-pandemic in person California Bar exam in July 2019; the pass percentage was 50.1% .[3]
  • Like usual, the bulk of the February exam cohort were repeat test takers, but at a smaller rate than usual—60% as opposed to the usual 70% .[5]
  • The average scaled score on the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) decreased nationwide from July 2019—the previous July exam for which comparable MBE data was available—to 140.4, a loss of 0.7 percentage points.[6]

California Bar Exam “Test” Statistics

  • Nearly a third of those who took July test faced tech problems the total pass rate decreased by over 8% .[7]
  • The total success percentage in February of last year was 31.4%, which is the second lowest pass rate California has witnessed since the test in February 1982.[8]
  • According to the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the overall passing percentage for a total of more than 9300 test takers increased to 60.7% from 50% previous year.[4]
  • 84% of first time candidates from California institutions accredited by the American Bar Association passed the test.[4]
  • The State Bar of California said in a news release that the total success percentage for the test in February 2020 was 26.8% and the pass rate for first timers was 38% .[8]
  • In July 2017, the state’s first attempt at a two-day test had an overall pass rate of 49.6% and a first time pass rate of 62% .[8]
  • 8,723 candidates finished the test for the General Bar Exam with first-time applicants of 57.2% and an overall pass rate for first-time applicants, 74.0%.[9]
  • Less than 3 in 10 test takers managed to get a passing score this winter, representing a 4.6 percentage point decline from previous February’s results.[8]
  • 734 test takers would have passed the General Bar Exam with a 23.7% passing rate if the cut score had stayed at 1,440.[5]

California Bar Exam “Other” Statistics

  • This success rate is up 10.4 percentage points, or over 39% , from the 26.8% pass rate for the General Bar Exam in February 2020.[5]
  • When the cut score was lowered in 2020, we saw a jump in passers. The pass rate jumped from 71.7% in July 2019 to 82.4% in October 2020.[5]
  • According to Pearson, 48% of the women attorneys in the Fresno region and 35% of the attorneys from underrepresented groups received their legal education at San Joaquin.[1]
  • Dean Stanislaus Pulle, a lawyer who graduated from Yale Law School and England’s Kings College, said that SCIL graduates eventually achieve a pass rate of 45% or 46% .[1]
  • This year’s 33.9% success rate on the General Bar Exam was lower than the 37.2% pass rate in February 2021, but better than the 26.8% pass rate in February 2020.[10]
  • This is the lowest pass rate recorded in California since 1951, the oldest year given on the state’s summary of results, and the second time since 1986 that the total pass percentage has dropped below 30% .[8]

Also Read

How Useful is California Bar Exam

On one hand, proponents of the California Bar Exam argue that it is a crucial assessment of an individual’s understanding of the law, legal reasoning abilities, and ethical considerations. Passing the Bar Exam is often seen as the final hurdle to becoming a licensed attorney, setting a high standard for entry into the legal profession. Furthermore, the exam is designed to ensure that attorneys can uphold professional standards, protect the interests of their clients, and contribute positively to the justice system.

In addition, the California Bar Exam is seen as a way to protect the public from individuals who may not be adequately prepared to practice law. By setting a high standard for entry into the legal profession, the exam aims to weed out those who lack the necessary skills and knowledge to provide competent legal representation. This, in turn, helps to maintain the integrity and credibility of the legal profession in California.

However, critics of the California Bar Exam argue that the exam may not be the best measure of an individual’s ability to practice law effectively. They point to the high failure rates of the exam, suggesting that it may be unnecessarily difficult and arbitrary in its assessment of candidates. Some also argue that the exam does not necessarily test practical, real-world skills that are essential for success in the legal profession, such as client communication, negotiation, and critical thinking under pressure.

Furthermore, critics question whether the California Bar Exam is truly reflective of the diverse range of experiences and backgrounds that individuals bring to the legal profession. Some argue that the exam may inadvertently disadvantage certain groups, such as first-generation college students or individuals from underrepresented communities, who may face additional challenges in preparing for and passing the exam.

In light of these criticisms, some have called for a reevaluation of the California Bar Exam and the way in which it assesses the readiness of individuals to practice law. They suggest that alternative methods of evaluation, such as clinical experience, apprenticeships, or performance-based assessments, may provide a more comprehensive and meaningful measure of an individual’s abilities as a legal practitioner. By broadening the criteria for evaluating candidates, it is argued that the legal profession in California can become more inclusive and equitable for individuals from all backgrounds.

Overall, the debate over the usefulness of the California Bar Exam is ongoing and complex. While the exam serves as a traditional milestone for entry into the legal profession, questions persist about its effectiveness, fairness, and relevance in today’s legal landscape. As the legal profession continues to evolve, it is essential to consider how best to assess the skills and readiness of aspiring attorneys in a way that is reflective of the diverse and dynamic nature of the legal profession in California.


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