TaxProf Blog

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

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

California Supreme Court Strips Authority Of Bar Examiners To Set Cut Score; Lower Cut Score May Apply Retroactively To July Test-Takers

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Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/07/california-supreme-court-strips-bar-examiners-of-its-authority-to-set-cut-score-lower-cut-score-may-.html

Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

The legal academy's war against standards continues to rack up victories. What does the future hold? No bar exam, no LSAT requirement, no four year undergraduate degree requirement. Just the ability to sign for loans.

Now lets take a look at the gatekeeping in the medical profession, which law was once (but will never be again) compared to:

George Washington Med: USNews Rank 59/ Total Enrollment 725/ Acceptance Rate 2.6%

Posted by: JM | Jul 12, 2017 6:28:56 AM

Pathetic. As if lowering the standard for the bar exam will

1) create more demand for law school graduates
2) make legal services more affordable, or
3) hold bar complaints level, given the recent studies correlating lower bar exam pass rates with higher incidences for such things.

But one cannot change the larger forces at work: law school applicants are still way down, the "smart money" (LSAT > 160) is particularly staying away, PSLF is probably doomed, Trump wants grads student loans on a 30-year payback at 12.5% of income per year (and not just disposable income like IBR and PAYE), and last but not least, it's becoming clearer that GradPLUS will be targeted when the HEA is reauthorized in the near future. Law schools still have a lot of pain ahead.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 12, 2017 9:56:20 AM

The California bar examiners just had to demonstrate a rational basis for their unusually high cut score that was not related to artificially driving down the number of California licensed lawyers.

That's not a high hurdle to meet, but they couldn't do it.

I don't think anyone seriously believes legal practice in California is more sophisticated and complex than in New York or D.C. or Boston or Chicago. No reason Cali should have a harder bar exam than everyone else.

Posted by: Rational basis | Jul 13, 2017 9:31:41 PM

I think you meant to sign that "Rational correlation," as in "law school deans only started complaining about the difficulty of the bar exam after they radically dropped their admissions standards so as to keep their doors open."

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jul 14, 2017 6:26:31 AM

"Standard" or cartel? Please show me any research showing that a cut score of 144 as opposed to the national average results in better legal services in California?

Posted by: anon | Jul 15, 2017 4:44:15 PM