Sunday, November 22, 2015
Derek 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.