maxmartin wrote: jman77 wrote: gaddockteeg wrote: justanotheruser wrote: jman77 wrote: cbx2016 wrote: maxmartin wrote:
Everyone knows this high cut score is arbitrary, there is no real science or social reason behind it. They should stop this nonsense show of public studying and commenting. CA supreme court should take swift action, like the Oregon supreme court, to either reduce or maintain the cut score, regardless whatever bullshit bar committee spews. Just pick a cut score and get on with it. I am not aware Oregon has any study done lol. http://abovethelaw.com/2017/08/another- ... age-score/
The difference with Oregon is that they are adopting the UBE, and, as their law deans pointed out, the cut score of 142 is radically out of sync with other UBE jdxs. So they moved to a more comparable cut.
Ironically, Oregon's bar exam was basically the UBE prior to adoption (and cut change), since they mostly use MBE/MEE/MPT anyhow, but reserved the right to substitute some MEE for state drafted questions on subjects like fed tax and Oregon civ pro.
Either way, Oregon were in a place to change their cut score to reflect the adoption of UBE in full. Not sure if moving to a 2 day exam in CA is the same kind of triggering event, and in any case, CA do not have the benefit of looking at 20+ other jdx to eyeball a cut score change.
Edit: If you are interested in the original petition to the Oregon Supreme Court by its Board of Bar Examiners and the deans of the 3 Oregon law schools: http://uomatters.com/wp-content/uploads ... Aug-17.pdf
That was an interesting read. My sense is that the court will pick 1414 as an interim cut score applicable to the July 2017 bar exam as a compromise to BOTH SIDES, then will study or direct the bar to study the following: 1) the effect of the shift to the 2-day exam independent of the lower cut score; 2) the combined effect of the 1414 cut score and the shift to the 2-day exam; and 3) the potential combined effect of an even lower cut score (or a range of cut scores). Based on the study(ies), the court will then set a permanent cut score applicable to all future exams. Overall, I still anticipate that the cut score will be lowered permanently to a level that more closely approximates the national average. However, I don't think the court will be prepared to change the cut score significantly without any further basis (e.g., the study(ies) based on the July 2017 bar exam results). 1414 seems to be a safe/noncontroversial compromise at this time.
The fact that the court stripped the bar of the authority to set the cut score can't be ignored and can logically be interpreted as a signal that the court is unhappy with what's happening in CA, doesn't like what the state bar has been doing and doesn't trust the state bar to get it right and/or favors increasing the pass rate (likely by lowering the cut score). What other plausible reason can there be for the court's action?
Your rationale is well taken.
Would be curious though, given that 1390 is on the table, why/if the court would be deferential enough to pick 1414 over that.
Agreed, I'd actually argue that 139 is the actual compromise since the real dichotomy seems to be "stay at 144" vs "lower to 135."
I think you both make good points. I think the crucial factor is how deferential the court will be. I just think that 1414 is the safe choice as it's still a lowering of the cut score (as a concession to those who strongly feel the cut score should be lowered) and it's the minimum decrease for which there is currently a basis (as a concession to those who are adamant that the current cut score should be maintained). Once the court has had a chance to see a study incorporating the changes brought about by the change in the bar exam format, it will have a stronger basis to lower the cut score even further.
Even though it makes a lot of sense to just lower the cut score to more closely approximate the national average, there is a political component to making such a move and the court will need to have a more solid basis for its action.
On a related note, I think public comments submitted by practicing attorneys, law students and those who are looking to get admitted should be considered but discounted for obvious reasons. I tried to read through the comments posted by the bar together with the news release regarding the recommendation, but so far all I've seen are comments by persons belonging to one of those 3 groups. Does anyone know if comments were actually solicited and received from the general public (you know, the people whose interests are supposedly being safeguarded by the cut score)?
What kind study is needed? What information can an additional study provide? So far no study from CA or other states yielded any real useful information. CA bar in its current form is a disguised UBE LOL. Cut score in itself is an inherent arbitrary thing. The court should just pick a score a few points above national average if they want to keep so called CA high standard. LMAO.
I agree with you in theory but that's not how things work in real life. There is a political angle to matters like this, there are formalities to be followed, competing interests trying to push their respective agenda, etc. The court can't just pick a score no matter how sensible it may seem. There has to be a piece of paper that says what the cut score should be and why that the court can show to all concerned parties to justify its decision. Right now, that piece of paper says the cut score should be 1440, 1414 or 1390.
The methodology of the study supporting the current recommendation has been widely criticized for being flawed and self-serving. That study is also inherently flawed because it was based on results related to the old bar exam format. The impact of the change in number of days and distribution between the MBE and CA sections should be a factor in determining the specific cut score within the reasonable range.
Ideally, the next study would be commissioned by the court itself and conducted by an entity or person independently engaged by the court itself, and not by the state bar. Additionally, it would do a more thorough inquiry into the reasons for the cut scores adopted by other jurisdictions (the current study just glosses over it) and whether or not such cut scores have resulted in said jurisdictions admitting more incompetent lawyers relative to CA. As the Oregon bar petition posted a few comments above indicated, the fact that all other comparable jurisdictions have lower cut scores (significantly lower, in fact) suggests that minimal competency can be possible with a cut score that is more in line with the other cut scores.
I'm all for lowering the cut score to bring it close to the national average. However, I also think that each state should have the discretion to set its own specific cut score, within reason. My only gripe with CA really is not that it has a different cut score, but that its cut score is such a ridiculous outlier compared to all other jurisdictions (so is DE's for that matter). 2, 3, 4 points higher? Sure. But 9-10 points higher? Come on.