TaxProf Blog

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Indiana Commission to Examine Bar Exam Cut Score; California Asked to Take 'Fresh Look' At Its Exam

ABA Journal, Indiana Commission to Examine Bar Exam Cut Score; California Asked to Take 'Fresh Look' At Its Exam:

Following a July 2018 bar exam pass rate of 65 percent, the Indiana Supreme Court has assembled a special commission to review the test’s format and content and consider whether the cut score should be changed.

The court issued the order Tuesday, the Indiana Lawyer reports. Currently, raw scores for test takers’ Multistate Performance Test and Indiana Essay Exam are scaled to the Multistate Bar Exam, according to the Indiana Supreme Court’s Board of Bar Examiners website. One needs a combined scaled score of at least 264 to pass, with the 20 percent of the score coming from the MPT, 30 percent from the essay portion and 50 percent from the MBE.

Besides considering whether the cut score should be changed, the Indiana bar exam commission is looking at whether the state should adopt the Uniform Bar Exam. ...

Although many states saw pass rate declines for the July 2018 bar exam, Judith Gundersen, president and CEO of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, told the ABA Journal that she does not know of any other jurisdictions in 2018 that are considering a cut score change following July bar exam results. Between June 2016 and November 2017 four states—Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Oregon—lowered their bar exam cut scores, she told the ABA Journal last year.

The California Supreme Court decided in October 2017 that it would not lower its bar exam cut score of 1440, following a study and a report on the issue, as well as requests from the state bar’s law school council to change the cut score to something between 1350 and 1390. Mark Stone, a state Assembly member who chairs its judiciary committee, has asked the body to “take a fresh look” at its bar exam, following a July 2018 pass rate of 40.7 percent, the Recorder reported. Law school deans also chimed in, with a Nov. 29 Los Angeles Times opinion piece.

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Does the Tax Court take a fresh look at its Congressionally mandated non attorney practitioner exam, passing only about 10 percent on its obscure and eclectic questions and offered only every two years?

I'm an LL.M and it scares me.

Just my 2 cents (after taxes, and tax classes, and *needless and much more expensive law-school-required bachelors degree and mostly-student-chatter first-year classes* that can keep good people out of our profession and price taxpayers in need out of their Court.)

Posted by: Anand Desai | Dec 11, 2018 5:43:44 AM