failing the bar

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273590
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:Bottom line: baressays.com has real essays with real scores and its clear that a "passing" California essay requires spotting every issue, knowing the rules and not misstating the law, and good analysis. This is why California is the hardest bar in the country.


I used baressays.com.
Honestly, it is a good service, in that you get to see what 55 and 65 essays are like.

But, in no way does the 65 essay require spotting EVERY issue or good analysis. The sample answers published by the Cal Bar do not hit all the issues. Many 65 essays I read used only headings and conclusory statements for major issues.

And, yes, I have read almost all the 65 essays for the past exams 2002-2011.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273590
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:46 am

I am really glad I read this thread. It's comforting to know I am not alone in how I have been feeling lately about the CA bar.

I went to a T-10 school and did well in law school but I have been really fretting about failing the essay portions of the bar because I missed a few issues (failing to mention the lapse/anti lapse rules and the conflict of interest issue in the PR question) and given the harshness of how BARBRI seemed to grade my essays. As others have mentioned, sometimes missing one minor issue would result in a failing essay.

However, this may not reflect reality. I came across the essays posted on the CA bar website-in addition to the model answers, which scored an 85- there are links to a bunch of passing essays which are filled with typos, incomplete rules statements, and shoddy analysis. Judging from some of those essays, I am sure many of us passed.

If anyone else could chime in on this point, it would be much appreciated.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273590
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Bottom line: baressays.com has real essays with real scores and its clear that a "passing" California essay requires spotting every issue, knowing the rules and not misstating the law, and good analysis. This is why California is the hardest bar in the country.


I used baressays.com.
Honestly, it is a good service, in that you get to see what 55 and 65 essays are like.

But, in no way does the 65 essay require spotting EVERY issue or good analysis. The sample answers published by the Cal Bar do not hit all the issues. Many 65 essays I read used only headings and conclusory statements for major issues.

And, yes, I have read almost all the 65 essays for the past exams 2002-2011.


I also used the service and I agree with this analysis. I recall reading one of the essays for which feedback was provided. The analysis said "Missed 3 major issues" and the essay still received a 65. It is going to depend on how you did relative to your peers and many people will not have remembered everything.

Additionally, when you compare the California Bar's published answers one-to-another, you often see that they differed in quality and that they often did not address the exact same issues.

User avatar
somewhatwayward
Posts: 1446
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:10 pm

Re: failing the bar

Postby somewhatwayward » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:51 am

what are the CA essays out of? i saw the free example one about community property, and it looked pretty good but got a 70 - is it out of 100?

run26.2
Posts: 897
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:35 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby run26.2 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:21 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:what are the CA essays out of? i saw the free example one about community property, and it looked pretty good but got a 70 - is it out of 100?

They are out of "100," but I don't think they ever give a 100. The highest seems to be an 85 or 90, I think. The lowest is a 40.

User avatar
Mick Haller
Posts: 1258
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: failing the bar

Postby Mick Haller » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:55 pm

run26.2 wrote:
somewhatwayward wrote:what are the CA essays out of? i saw the free example one about community property, and it looked pretty good but got a 70 - is it out of 100?

They are out of "100," but I don't think they ever give a 100. The highest seems to be an 85 or 90, I think. The lowest is a 40.


And the average score is 62.5. Kaplan told us roughly 70% of the essays are scored either 60 or 65. So you figure 20% at below 60, and 10% at 70+.

You can pass with an average essay score of 60, but you need to have done average or better on everything else.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273590
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:i am pretty sure i just failed the bar. my firm's offer letter says that the offer is contingent on passing the bar. i know most biglaw firms give second chances - but are there any that don't? and even if i got a second chance, are people who fail typically stealthed/not given work etc.? how big is the reputational impact?

EDIT: At at V10 in a major market so i think it won't be too hard (hopefully) to lateral after i (hopefully) pass in february. should i start looking pretty soon after i start so i can start fresh at a new firm (don't mind going to a nlj250 firm or a secondary market, as long as i won't be stealthed in a year or two)?

Just discovered this thread from last year and am in a similar boat as the OP.

Does anyone know of firms that don't give second chances, or what the reputational impact would be? If it turns out that I did fail in November, should I consider lateraling sooner rather than later?

EDIT: Due to a series of circumstances, bar turned out much worse than anticipated. So assume for the moment that concerns are well-founded. Let's just say my practices were barely passing, so I didn't have much wiggle room.

RodneyRuxin
Posts: 455
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:08 pm

Re: failing the bar

Postby RodneyRuxin » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:30 pm

I once spoke to an attorney that said his wife failed to see one of the essays for the Cali bar (and thus left it completely blank) and she still passed.

If you're worrying is causing you to rationally prepare for a doomsday-like scenario, then by all means worry. But if it's causing you to enter full-out panic mode where you can't focus--take his anecdote into consideration and start being rational.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: failing the bar

Postby 09042014 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:44 pm

July 2011, first time, ABA graduate California passage rate was 74%. Ain't no way 74% are perfect on almost every essay .

hiima3L
Posts: 837
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:26 pm

Re: failing the bar

Postby hiima3L » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:i am pretty sure i just failed the bar. my firm's offer letter says that the offer is contingent on passing the bar. i know most biglaw firms give second chances - but are there any that don't? and even if i got a second chance, are people who fail typically stealthed/not given work etc.? how big is the reputational impact?

EDIT: At at V10 in a major market so i think it won't be too hard (hopefully) to lateral after i (hopefully) pass in february. should i start looking pretty soon after i start so i can start fresh at a new firm (don't mind going to a nlj250 firm or a secondary market, as long as i won't be stealthed in a year or two)?

Just discovered this thread from last year and am in a similar boat as the OP.

Does anyone know of firms that don't give second chances, or what the reputational impact would be? If it turns out that I did fail in November, should I consider lateraling sooner rather than later?

EDIT: Due to a series of circumstances, bar turned out much worse than anticipated. So assume for the moment that concerns are well-founded. Let's just say my practices were barely passing, so I didn't have much wiggle room.


I don't know of firms that don't give second chances. I think the smaller and more financially stretched ones would be hesitant to wait another 6-8 months.

In terms of reputation, no one cares. If you fail a 2nd time, however, that's when it raises eyebrows. Failing once is no big deal, but after failing once, you have no good excuse to fail again.

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby TooOld4This » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:15 am

There is no point in trying to explain to people waiting on CA bar results that their bar is not exponential harder than any other bar in the country. It is a self defense mechanism that pretty much every CA bar taker uses. (Not that I would know anything about that :P ).

For those seriously worrying about it, though, stop. The CA bar is a PITA, largely because it is 3 f-ing days long. (And if you are unlucky enough to get to compare bar exams of different states, you'll get even more perspective.). Everyone feels like crap coming out of it, and those that don't are largely (blissfully) unaware of how much they missed.

If you studied and wrote something for every question, relax. You will likely fall in line with the stats for your school. And if, in the end, you turned out to have a bad run of it, know that you can fall back on the "but it was the CA bar exam" excuse AND most attorneys have a "there but by the grace of god go I" attitude towards people who don't clear the hurdle on the first try.

run26.2
Posts: 897
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:35 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby run26.2 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:29 am

TooOld4This wrote:There is no point in trying to explain to people waiting on CA bar results that their bar is not exponential harder than any other bar in the country. It is a self defense mechanism that pretty much every CA bar taker uses. (Not that I would know anything about that :P ).

For those seriously worrying about it, though, stop. The CA bar is a PITA, largely because it is 3 f-ing days long. (And if you are unlucky enough to get to compare bar exams of different states, you'll get even more perspective.). Everyone feels like crap coming out of it, and those that don't are largely (blissfully) unaware of how much they missed.

If you studied and wrote something for every question, relax. You will likely fall in line with the stats for your school. And if, in the end, you turned out to have a bad run of it, know that you can fall back on the "but it was the CA bar exam" excuse AND most attorneys have a "there but by the grace of god go I" attitude towards people who don't clear the hurdle on the first try.

This chart shows that the CA bar is actually harder than most other bars in the country, at 65% of first-takers passing in 2012. New York, the other one I hear people complain about most frequently, by comparison, has a 74% passage rate for first-time takers.

http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Bar-Examiner/articles/2013/8201132012statistics.pdf

Is it harder? Yes. Does it justify all the complaining? That's debatable.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22888
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:18 pm

run26.2 wrote:
TooOld4This wrote:There is no point in trying to explain to people waiting on CA bar results that their bar is not exponential harder than any other bar in the country. It is a self defense mechanism that pretty much every CA bar taker uses. (Not that I would know anything about that :P ).

For those seriously worrying about it, though, stop. The CA bar is a PITA, largely because it is 3 f-ing days long. (And if you are unlucky enough to get to compare bar exams of different states, you'll get even more perspective.). Everyone feels like crap coming out of it, and those that don't are largely (blissfully) unaware of how much they missed.

If you studied and wrote something for every question, relax. You will likely fall in line with the stats for your school. And if, in the end, you turned out to have a bad run of it, know that you can fall back on the "but it was the CA bar exam" excuse AND most attorneys have a "there but by the grace of god go I" attitude towards people who don't clear the hurdle on the first try.

This chart shows that the CA bar is actually harder than most other bars in the country, at 65% of first-takers passing in 2012. New York, the other one I hear people complain about most frequently, by comparison, has a 74% passage rate for first-time takers.

http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Bar-Examiner/articles/2013/8201132012statistics.pdf

Is it harder? Yes. Does it justify all the complaining? That's debatable.

I don't know that CA is harder, as much as there are more stupid people taking it (think about all the unaccredited law schools in California that let you take the bar there and nowhere else). If you look only at ABA-accredited California schools, the pass rate for first-time takers is 76.9 (in July 2012, anyway).

run26.2
Posts: 897
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:35 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby run26.2 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:11 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
run26.2 wrote:
TooOld4This wrote:There is no point in trying to explain to people waiting on CA bar results that their bar is not exponential harder than any other bar in the country. It is a self defense mechanism that pretty much every CA bar taker uses. (Not that I would know anything about that :P ).

For those seriously worrying about it, though, stop. The CA bar is a PITA, largely because it is 3 f-ing days long. (And if you are unlucky enough to get to compare bar exams of different states, you'll get even more perspective.). Everyone feels like crap coming out of it, and those that don't are largely (blissfully) unaware of how much they missed.

If you studied and wrote something for every question, relax. You will likely fall in line with the stats for your school. And if, in the end, you turned out to have a bad run of it, know that you can fall back on the "but it was the CA bar exam" excuse AND most attorneys have a "there but by the grace of god go I" attitude towards people who don't clear the hurdle on the first try.

This chart shows that the CA bar is actually harder than most other bars in the country, at 65% of first-takers passing in 2012. New York, the other one I hear people complain about most frequently, by comparison, has a 74% passage rate for first-time takers.

http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Bar-Examiner/articles/2013/8201132012statistics.pdf

Is it harder? Yes. Does it justify all the complaining? That's debatable.

I don't know that CA is harder, as much as there are more stupid people taking it (think about all the unaccredited law schools in California that let you take the bar there and nowhere else). If you look only at ABA-accredited California schools, the pass rate for first-time takers is 76.9 (in July 2012, anyway).

You make a fair point, although your data does not correspond to what is in this document, which places the passage rate for first-time takers from accredited schools at 73%. Even then, CA is still among the bottom 4 states or so.

But there are other figures that suggest CA really does have a bar exam that is harder than most other states. First, it has the second lowest percentage of individuals passing from non-accredited schools of any state with more than 10 such takers. Second, it has a far lower passing percentage for examinations given to attorneys from other jurisdictions of any state with more than 1 such taker. Third, it has the lowest passing percentage for examinations given to disciplined or suspended attorneys of any state with more than 1 such taker. Plus, looking at the 10 year average pass percentage for first-timers, CA is the lowest or among the lowest every year.

Thus, while you make a good point about the possibility that different inputs contribute to a lower pass rate in CA, other statistics suggest that it is indeed a hard exam relative to that of other states.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: failing the bar

Postby 09042014 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:21 pm

It's probably the second hardest. http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/04 ... culty.html

Delaware is slightly harder.

But it's not impossible and you don't need to be perfect. Just gotta be better than bottom 25% of real law students.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22888
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:02 pm

I got the statistic from the CA bar website. It probably is harder, just not as as much harder as the overall pass rate suggests.

cadestevenson
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:04 pm

Re: failing the bar

Postby cadestevenson » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:48 am

In terms of actual test substance, California Bar exam is probably one of the easiest exams. Don't you think? You don't need to know the dreaded conflict-of-laws concept, like you do for the UBE, and you don't need to know anything from UCC except article 2. Also, you have a full hour for essays, and 3 hours for PTs. I'm thinking of taking the UBE, and I'm very worried that I won't be able to finish the essays or PTs, not by a long shot.

I guess factors that take California form the easiest to the among the hardest:

1. MBE accounts for only 35% of the overall score, instead of 50%

2. The bar pass mark is set higher than in other states. 72.2% as opposed to under 70% (270 of 400 UBE in most UBE states).

3. Perhaps exams that are actually easier, are graded more harshly in California - so its harder to get to 72%?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273590
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:I think people are in one of two camps re: the CA bar. I don't think anyone doubts that the exam is a difficult one, and the most difficult one in the country. However, the two camps are: 1) miss any issue and you're down to a sub-55 and 2) if you hit most of the major issues and have delivered proper rule statements, etc., you will be OK.

I missed what I'd consider to be a major issue on one essay (though not sure given how much there was to cover for that particular essay), and thought the sky was falling. I don't know if the sky is going to fall, but honestly I think the truth of it is somewhere in the middle of the two camps. I think, despite the Bar's best efforts to ensure calibration across the board, who you have as a grader will matter a lot.

Between BarBri's essay grading scale (one missed issue will get you below 65) and the almost impossible perfection of BarEssays, we're inclined to think that we're doomed. But I don't think either service does a very good job explaining variance of scores, etc. So I would just hang in there and see how the results pan out. It's going to be a long wait until November 16th; thankfully, I have a clerkship to soften the blow w/r/t the firm in the meantime.

Moreover, PT-A and PT-B were difficult by most accounts, so you are not alone.


Are the PTs like the essays? If you miss a major issue, you get knocked down automatically to a 55? That would be a bitch. Just wondering for myself.

run26.2
Posts: 897
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:35 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby run26.2 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:50 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I think people are in one of two camps re: the CA bar. I don't think anyone doubts that the exam is a difficult one, and the most difficult one in the country. However, the two camps are: 1) miss any issue and you're down to a sub-55 and 2) if you hit most of the major issues and have delivered proper rule statements, etc., you will be OK.

I missed what I'd consider to be a major issue on one essay (though not sure given how much there was to cover for that particular essay), and thought the sky was falling. I don't know if the sky is going to fall, but honestly I think the truth of it is somewhere in the middle of the two camps. I think, despite the Bar's best efforts to ensure calibration across the board, who you have as a grader will matter a lot.

Between BarBri's essay grading scale (one missed issue will get you below 65) and the almost impossible perfection of BarEssays, we're inclined to think that we're doomed. But I don't think either service does a very good job explaining variance of scores, etc. So I would just hang in there and see how the results pan out. It's going to be a long wait until November 16th; thankfully, I have a clerkship to soften the blow w/r/t the firm in the meantime.

Moreover, PT-A and PT-B were difficult by most accounts, so you are not alone.


Are the PTs like the essays? If you miss a major issue, you get knocked down automatically to a 55? That would be a bitch. Just wondering for myself.

It's hard to miss a major issue on the PTs in the sense of not knowing about it. They give you the law, such as a seven-factor test, so you know what you need to discuss. If you don't talk about everything that you are supposed to, then yes, it is probably similar to the essays in that you aren't likely to get a passing grade by omitting some of the analysis.

User avatar
Holly Golightly
Posts: 4618
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:30 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby Holly Golightly » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:57 am

Desert Fox wrote:It's probably the second hardest. http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/04 ... culty.html

Delaware is slightly harder.

But it's not impossible and you don't need to be perfect. Just gotta be better than bottom 25% of real law students.

The idea that ~75% of California bar takers write near perfect essays is absurd.

run26.2
Posts: 897
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:35 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby run26.2 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:02 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I got the statistic from the CA bar website. It probably is harder, just not as as much harder as the overall pass rate suggests.

There is a good case to be made that it is actually HARDER than the overall pass rate suggests (i.e., CA has to lower standards to achieve a particular passage rate, otherwise too many people would fail). If you look at p. 21 of the PDF I attached, you see that at 40%, CA has a passage rate that is more than 20% lower than any other state that administers and "attorney examination." Presumably, the populations taking a different state's bar are not that much different. And yet, in CA, they fail the bar at a surprisingly high rate.

ETA: Your post also raises the point that the actual passage percentage can be distinguished from the "difficulty" of the exam, but it could also be conceived as simply referencing the overall passage rate. I think it is more meaningful to talk about it in terms of how much effort a particular person would have to put in in order to pass the bar in question. I think from that perspective, CA is close to, if not the, hardest bar.

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby TooOld4This » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:21 pm

run26.2 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I got the statistic from the CA bar website. It probably is harder, just not as as much harder as the overall pass rate suggests.

There is a good case to be made that it is actually HARDER than the overall pass rate suggests (i.e., CA has to lower standards to achieve a particular passage rate, otherwise too many people would fail). If you look at p. 21 of the PDF I attached, you see that at 40%, CA has a passage rate that is more than 20% lower than any other state that administers and "attorney examination." Presumably, the populations taking a different state's bar are not that much different. And yet, in CA, they fail the bar at a surprisingly high rate.

ETA: Your post also raises the point that the actual passage percentage can be distinguished from the "difficulty" of the exam, but it could also be conceived as simply referencing the overall passage rate. I think it is more meaningful to talk about it in terms of how much effort a particular person would have to put in in order to pass the bar in question. I think from that perspective, CA is close to, if not the, hardest bar.


It doesn't matter how hard the questions are, it matters how hard it is to pass. Once you look only at first time takers from accredited schools, the stats are not dramatically different. If you would be the guy that barely clears another bar, it's an issue. But in just about every jurisdiction a non-trivial number of people fail. Three day bar exams are worse than two day bar exams, no doubt. But, at the end of the day, the vast majority of CA first time bar takers from accredited schools don't have any more to worry about than any other those in any other state.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22888
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:29 pm

run26.2 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I got the statistic from the CA bar website. It probably is harder, just not as as much harder as the overall pass rate suggests.

There is a good case to be made that it is actually HARDER than the overall pass rate suggests (i.e., CA has to lower standards to achieve a particular passage rate, otherwise too many people would fail). If you look at p. 21 of the PDF I attached, you see that at 40%, CA has a passage rate that is more than 20% lower than any other state that administers and "attorney examination." Presumably, the populations taking a different state's bar are not that much different. And yet, in CA, they fail the bar at a surprisingly high rate.

I get your point, but actually, the boldest was the point I was making before - that the population taking the Cali bar is arguably different than in other states, because of the high number of non-ABA-accredited schools in the state from which grads can only take the Cali bar. Students at such schools have terrible bar passage rates, and I don't think it's only because the Cali bar is harder (there's a reason the schools are unaccredited). Again, the California exam probably is harder, and may well be the hardest bar exam out there - I have no idea. I just think statistics including such exam-takers skew the results because such exam-takers are something pretty much unique to California.

run26.2
Posts: 897
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:35 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby run26.2 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:42 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
run26.2 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I got the statistic from the CA bar website. It probably is harder, just not as as much harder as the overall pass rate suggests.

There is a good case to be made that it is actually HARDER than the overall pass rate suggests (i.e., CA has to lower standards to achieve a particular passage rate, otherwise too many people would fail). If you look at p. 21 of the PDF I attached, you see that at 40%, CA has a passage rate that is more than 20% lower than any other state that administers and "attorney examination." Presumably, the populations taking a different state's bar are not that much different. And yet, in CA, they fail the bar at a surprisingly high rate.

I get your point, but actually, the boldest was the point I was making before - that the population taking the Cali bar is arguably different than in other states, because of the high number of non-ABA-accredited schools in the state from which grads can only take the Cali bar. Students at such schools have terrible bar passage rates, and I don't think it's only because the Cali bar is harder (there's a reason the schools are unaccredited). Again, the California exam probably is harder, and may well be the hardest bar exam out there - I have no idea. I just think statistics including such exam-takers skew the results because such exam-takers are something pretty much unique to California.


Here are two posts by a Prof. at Pepperdine that arguably show the relative difficulty of each state's bar by accounting for the quality of students taking the exams from accredited schools only. The first uses LSAT and GPA, and the second using LSAT:

http://witnesseth.typepad.com/blog/2013 ... exams.html
http://witnesseth.typepad.com/blog/2013 ... exams.html

DE, which people speculate may be more difficult than CA, is not included in the results. But aside from omitting, DE, his conclusion is that CA is the hardest.

run26.2
Posts: 897
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:35 am

Re: failing the bar

Postby run26.2 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:45 pm

TooOld4This wrote:
run26.2 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I got the statistic from the CA bar website. It probably is harder, just not as as much harder as the overall pass rate suggests.

There is a good case to be made that it is actually HARDER than the overall pass rate suggests (i.e., CA has to lower standards to achieve a particular passage rate, otherwise too many people would fail). If you look at p. 21 of the PDF I attached, you see that at 40%, CA has a passage rate that is more than 20% lower than any other state that administers and "attorney examination." Presumably, the populations taking a different state's bar are not that much different. And yet, in CA, they fail the bar at a surprisingly high rate.

ETA: Your post also raises the point that the actual passage percentage can be distinguished from the "difficulty" of the exam, but it could also be conceived as simply referencing the overall passage rate. I think it is more meaningful to talk about it in terms of how much effort a particular person would have to put in in order to pass the bar in question. I think from that perspective, CA is close to, if not the, hardest bar.


It doesn't matter how hard the questions are, it matters how hard it is to pass. Once you look only at first time takers from accredited schools, the stats are not dramatically different. If you would be the guy that barely clears another bar, it's an issue. But in just about every jurisdiction a non-trivial number of people fail. Three day bar exams are worse than two day bar exams, no doubt. But, at the end of the day, the vast majority of CA first time bar takers from accredited schools don't have any more to worry about than any other those in any other state.

There are two problems with this line of analysis. First, it assumes that the population taking the various bars is the same, which is questionable. Second, it assumes that people prepare the same for the various bar exams, which is also questionable. States bars probably have a "difficulty reputation" that influences the study habits of the test takers.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.