Paul L. Caron

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Lawmakers Urge Court To Lower California Bar Exam Cut Score

Following up on last week's post, Only 5% Of Black First-Time Takers Passed February California Bar Exam, Compared To 52% Of Whites, 42% Of Asians, And 31% Of Hispanics:

The Recorder, California Lawmakers Urge Court to Lower Passing Score for Next Bar Exam:

Four state lawmakers have called on the California Supreme Court to immediately drop the score required to pass the bar exam, saying the test has a “racially discriminatory impact” on would-be lawyers.

In a June 18 letter to justices, the Democratic lawmakers cite the historically low 26.8% pass rate on the February exam. While half of whites taking the exam for the first time passed, the success rates for Asian applicants (28%), Latinos (25%) and African Americans (18%) were markedly lower.

“Most alarmingly, only five percent of Black first-time bar exam takers who graduated California ABA-accredited law schools passed,” according to the letter signed by Assembly Judiciary Chairman Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley, Public Safety Chairman Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Latino Caucus Chairwoman Lorena Gonzalez and Legislative Black Caucus Chairwoman Shirley Weber.

CA Bar

California requires a score of at least 1,440 out of a possible 2,000 to pass, the second-highest mark in the nation behind Delaware’s 1,450. The lawmakers asked the court to set the passing score at no more than 1,388.

(Hat Tip: Selina Farrell)

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As I’ve said many times before, if you want more minorities to pass the California bar, law schools need to do more to educate their students. I have written two books on the subject–How to Succeed in Law School (2019) and How to Grow a Lawyer (2018). There are also lots and lots of books and articles out there on improving legal education and on general education.

Stop making excuses!

Posted by: Scott Fruehwald | Jun 21, 2020 1:31:51 PM

But Scott, if you’re right, how are we supposed to scrounge up black votes to defeat evil Orange Man?

Next thing you know you’ll start advocating for school choice and vouchers!

* clutches pearls *

Posted by: Anon | Jun 23, 2020 1:29:19 AM