TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, November 22, 2015

50% Of Law Grads Who Failed California Bar Would Have Passed In A Different State

CaliforniaDerek Muller (Pepperdine), California Bar Exam Takers Are Far More Able Than Others Nationwide But Fail at Much Higher Rates:

The California July 2015 bar results were recently released, reflecting a modest drop in scores, slightly less than other jurisdictions this year. The overall pass rate dropped from 48.6% in July 2014 to 46.6%. The first-time pass rate dropped from 61% to 60%. And among California ABA-accredited schools, the first time rate also dropped a point to 68%.

California is one of the rare jurisdictions that also discloses its statewide mean scaled MBE score. The NCBE discloses the nationwide mean scaled MBE score, which has dropped fairly significantly over the last couple of years. But California has consistently outperformed the nationwide cohort, sometimes rather dramatically. ...

California's high cut score means that many test-takers who would pass the bar in another jurisdiction fail the California bar. Indeed, if the California cut score were closer to Georgia, Pennsylvania, or Tennessee, then the overall pass rate would be around 72%. Indeed, about half of those who failed the California bar in July 2015 would have passed in another jurisdiction.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2015/11/50-of-law-grads-who-failed-california-bar-would-have-passed-in-a-different-state.html

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Comments

Prof. Muller, with the exception of a tiny sliver of students, you are taking their money to practice in California. Not in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, or anywhere else for that matter.

The sum of this article is "if California's test were easier, like these other, less desirable states, more people would pass."

Ok. . . whom would that benefit and is that a desirable outcome?

Posted by: terry malloy | Nov 22, 2015 7:05:39 AM

Law faculty constantly question and critique systems and policies --- except what they themselves have wrought. Congrats, guys, you broke the gravy train. You smothered the golden goose. Yet no introspection?
You all deserve what's coming.

Posted by: Jojo | Nov 22, 2015 8:10:24 AM