Illinois Bar Exam Statistics 2023
– Everything You Need to Know

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


LLCBuddy editorial team did hours of research, collected all important statistics on Illinois 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 an Illinois 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 Illinois 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 Illinois Bar Exam Statistics 2023

☰ Use “CTRL+F” to quickly find statistics. There are total 21 Illinois Bar Exam Statistics on this page 🙂

Illinois Bar Exam “Latest” Statistics

  • Illinois test takers passed the July bar test at an 80.9% rate, down 4.3 percentage-points from the prior year.[1]
  • According to Superior Court Rule 304(f), each candidate must pass the written bar examination with a minimum combined score of 70% or higher on the MBE and essay sections, and a minimum scaled score of 75 on the MPRE in order to pass.[2]
  • The Illinois bar exam pass rates for total takers falls between 69% – 89%.  First-time takers have the higher pass rates of 81% – 93%.  Repeat takers have lower pass rates of 30% – 58%.[2]
  • Illinois had a remote bar in October 2020 with 75% pass rate, Nancy Vincent, administrative director of the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar, wrote in a February 2021 web post.[4]
  • Statistics jurisdictions stated that 68,305 people took the bar exam in 2019, with a 58% pass percentage as a whole.[5]
  • In the Illinois bar exam last February 2019, the pass rate was 52% while in July 2019, the pass rate increased to 71%.[5]
  • In the July 2022 Illinois bar exam, the overall pass rate was 68% with first time pass rate of 77% and repeater pass rate of 20%. The results were released last September 30, 2022.[4]
  • Illinois requires bar exam applicants to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (“MPRE”). You must score 80 or higher on the MPRE in order to pass in Illinois.[4]
  • In order to pass the Illinois bar exam, an examinee must score at least 266. This is equal to 133, based on the MBE’s 200-point scale.[4]

Illinois Bar Exam “Exam” Statistics

  • 21,935 people took the test in February 2019, and jurisdictions reported that 46% of them passed. The overall pass rate for the 46,370 July 2019 exam takers reported by jurisdictions was 64% .[5]

Illinois Bar Exam “Test” Statistics

  • The passing percentage for the New York Bar test, which serves as a decent middle ground standard, is 61%  while Illinois has a passing rate of 68.80%[3]
  • The Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar announced in August that results would be delayed, because candidates experienced technical issues during the test. Results were released Oct. 7, and the pass rate was 67%, according to the NCBE website.[4]
  • 162 out of 378 Maryland test takers in February 2021 had a total pass percentage of 42.9% while Illinois had an overall passing rate of 42%.[2]
  • The Board of Bar Examiners automatically analyzes and regrades the top 15% of the failed applicants’ essay responses after the tests have been assessed but before the dissemination of the grading results.[2]
  • According to Hale, several students who took the July 2021 remote test had technical difficulties, such as displays turning black for a brief period of time during the essay component.[4]

Illinois Bar Exam “Other” Statistics

  • The Illinois State Bar Association was created in 1877. The voluntary organization has about 28,000 members. There are about 65,000 lawyers living in Illinois. About 38% of lawyers in Illinois are female.[4]
  • The National Conference of Bar Examiners recently published statistics showing that the national mean scaled score for the July 2021 Multistate Bar Exam was 140.4.[4]
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the legal industry is expected to increase by 10% between 2012 and 2022, which is a typical growth rate when compared to other employment sectors.[6]
  • Illinois gives equal weight to the essay and multiple choice portions of the Multistate Bar Examination.[1]
  • The Nationwide Conference of Bar Examiners reported that the national MBE score decreased to 141.5, a 28 point decrease from 2013, a decrease that is regarded as substantial.[1]
  • First time applicants to the Illinois Bar Exam from the College of Law passed with an 89% passing percentage during the July 2021 administration.[7]

Also Read

How Useful is Illinois Bar Exam

The primary aim of any bar examination is to ensure that individuals seeking admission to the State Bar possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and character to practice law proficiently. In this regard, the Illinois Bar Exam attempts to evaluate a wide range of skills that lawyers are expected to possess, including legal analysis, reasoning, research abilities, and familiarity with substantive law.

One crucial aspect that critics often point out is the heavy emphasis on memorization. Skeptics argue that the memorization-based approach may not accurately reflect a candidate’s ability to utilize legal principles in practical settings. This form of assessment predominantly rewards individuals with a good memory rather than those with strong analytical skills and creative thinking, devaluing skills that could prove paramount in real-world scenarios.

Moreover, the content of the Illinois Bar Exam covers an extensive breadth of legal subjects. Supporters of the examination highlight that this comprehensive approach ensures that attorneys entering the profession have a broad understanding of the law. However, detractors assert that this breadth comes at the expense of becoming an expert in any particular legal field, suggesting that focusing on specialized areas might be more relevant in modern legal practice.

Another contentious topic related to the Illinois Bar Exam is its format. Notoriously challenging, this exam relies predominantly on long-form essay questions and multiple-choice tasks that demand concise and straightforward answers. Critics claim this format fails to provide a complete assessment of a lawyer’s abilities, arguing that legal understanding should be measured in a more complex and nuanced manner.

Some college graduates who have had declining interest in the field wards question the benefits of the bar exam. They claim that their law school education inclusive of the final papers, clinical decisions essays, and class presentations serve to establish the ability required of an Illinois lawyer, rendering the bar exam redundant.

The proponents of the Illinois Bar Exam counter these objections with the argument that successful completion of the examination demonstrates an individual’s professionalism, commitment, and dedication to the legal profession. They assert that surpassing this formidable challenge truly sets apart individuals wholly devoted to their legal careers, justifying the weightage placed on the exam’s qualifiers.

The usefulness of the Illinois Bar Exam is best neither expressed as a monochrome evaluation nor completely dismissed as obsolete. While the exam’s intent is to test aspiring lawyers on various aspects of their legal prowess, critics consistently argue that it may not be providing a comprehensive assessment of skills necessary for the practical practice of law. Balancing tradition and evolving societal needs is essential as discussions surrounding the Illinois Bar Exam continue, ensuring future legal professionals are correctly vetted while also examining alternative methods of assessment. Each side in this ongoing debate puts forth valid points, and a careful evaluation of feedback from the legal profession may unearth productive solutions, making the evaluation more robust while retaining its necessity.


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About Author & Editorial Staff

Steve Goldstein, founder of LLCBuddy, is a specialist in corporate formations, dedicated to guiding entrepreneurs and small business owners through the LLC process. LLCBuddy provides a wealth of streamlined resources such as guides, articles, and FAQs, making LLC establishment seamless. The diligent editorial staff makes sure content is accurate, up-to-date information on topics like state-specific requirements, registered agents, and compliance. Steve's enthusiasm for entrepreneurship makes LLCBuddy an essential and trustworthy resource for launching and running an LLC.

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