TaxProf Blog

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

Friday, September 1, 2017

California Bar Law School Council Recommends Lowering Cut Score to 135-139; Bar Examiners Recommend Keeping It At 144

A California Bar survey revealed that 80% of attorneys surveyed (34,295) and 2% of applicants (4,188) support leaving the cut score at 144:

On Wednesday, the California Bar's Law School Council recommended lowering the cut score to 135- 139.

On Thursday, the Committee of Bar Examiners voted 13-1 to recommend leaving the cut score at 144.

The California Bar's Board of Trustees will meet on September 6 and 7 to make its recommendation to the California Supreme Court.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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I am not surprised that 80% of practicing attorneys in California do not support the lowering of the cut score. Why would they? A high cut score protects the market from being diluted by underwhelming new attorneys. Plus, there might be some form of "hazing" associated with the very high cut score; "I passed it when it was hard, so you have to too."

Posted by: Z K | Sep 1, 2017 5:47:32 AM

Of course the schools want the cut score lowered; they've been admitting lower-credentialed students for years now, and they want to be absolved of any guilty feelings they may have for their conscious choice to keep enrollments up as applications declined vs. admit only high-quality students.

I would feel more comfortable with the schools' demand if it came with a promise to reduce or cap future enrollment so that the job market for new graduates will not be so tight. But as long as all that Federal loan money continues to pour in with no adverse consequences to the schools for their cash-maximizing strategies, any such cap is just a pipe dream.

Posted by: Old Ruster | Sep 5, 2017 7:25:19 AM