Over the past several months many have offered opinions on whether The State Bar of California sets too high a bar for law school graduates seeking admission to practice law in this state. For over 30 years the pass score has remained unchanged. California has over two hundred and fifty thousand attorneys admitted to practice, and somehow they all managed to pass this licensing exam. Arguments in favor of a lower cut score include “access to justice”. With so many licensed California attorneys, who exactly is being denied access? Law schools made a compelling argument that “California’s high cut score does not correlate with greater attorney competence”. While that might in fact be the case, there certainly is no quantitative evidence to suggest that a lower cut score would correlate with greater attorney competence either. The California bar exam is a hard test to pass. But one that thousands upon thousands do. Why should we lower the cut score? We shouldn’t. Law school deans suggest that the cut score has “a dramatic effect the diversity of the profession”. The truth is that a lower cut score would have benefited all applicants-not a select group.
The bottom line here is that the California Bar Exam is an exam that applicants do pass-over, and over again. Proper preparation is key, and that is something we want from all potential California lawyers. Put the time in, and the results will follow.
Congratulations to the over 4000 applicants who passed the July 2017 Bar exam.