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THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA’S SUPREME COURT AGREES TO LOWER THE THRESHOLD FOR PASSING BAR EXAMS

Posted on August 8, 2017 in Education Higher Education Law Bar Exams Threshold

The state of California has for a long time had a reputation for having the most challenging bar exams in the US. The good news for every aspiring law student is that the California supreme court, which governs the bar exams has made a ruling to revise the certification score threshold. Although the new score is yet to be set, the much-awaited changes will be enacted in January next year.

This decision has been precedent-ed by heated debates in California’s legal circles regarding the current 144 passing score as reported by http://www.nytimes.com. Each state in the US offers its bar test. However, many states are now advocating for regular tests, especially in parts of the test that have multiple choices. The main difference among states is the threshold for passing the test, which is set by each state. California’s higher than any other in the country except Delaware.

The idea of revising the score threshold for accreditation law reviews has sparked divided opinions. For instance, proponents of the plan argue that keeping the score high is part of the state’s ethical obligation of protecting American citizens from under-qualified lawyers. Law schools deans, on the other hand, have openly supported the proposal to lower the threshold. They argue that by keeping the current score limit, the state of California only seeks to protect the profession by avoiding overcrowding in the profession.

Those in support of this proposal have the numbers in their favor. For instance, it is outrageous that last year, only 62% of law license applicants in California who sat for the test for the first time passed, compared to 83% in the state of New York. In July 2016, only 51 percent of graduates from the University of California Hastings College of the law passed the state bar exam in their first attempt.

Consequently, the court asserted its authority over the exam by indicating that it would set the passing score for the exam.