California bar exam failure increase

December 16, 2014

Experts and analysts are deciding where to place their concern regarding a nearly seven point leap in failure rate for candidates taking the bar exam.

The possibilities being considered are whether the bar exam has become more difficult, or the candidates taking the exam are simply less capable.

Not since 2005 has the bar exam pass rate dropped below 50% in California. It wasn’t alone however. Some 20 states across the US saw a minimum 5% drop in the pass rate.

These results exacerbate the already prevalent issue of schools succumbing to falling enrollment rates, possibly due to an increase in complaints over student debt and a poor outlook on job prospects. There are fears that this could cause applicants to take added pause when considering a path towards law school.

Many have stated that there is not yet reason for concern. Gilbert A. Holmes, dean of the University of La Verne College of Law stated in regards to this that “…one year does not make a trend.”

Others do not share his confidence. Following an inquiry by the nonprofit organization National Conference of Bar Examiners, president Erica Moeser wrote that results “…point to the fact that the group that sat in July 2014 was less able than the group that sat in July 2014.”

Her harsh words led over seventy law school administrators to send a letter to the group, asking of it further explanation both of the results and of Moeser’s remarks.

With an endless supply of conflicting opinions and finger-pointing, it’s difficult to predict what the years ahead will hold for law students. For the sake of the field, we can only hope that the results from this year were in fact an anomaly and not an indication of things to come.

John Rosenbaum is a veteran workers compensation and personal injury attorney working in Orange County. After more than three decades of experiences, he has become one of the most trusted attorneys in the Laguna Hills area. Contact us today for a free no obligation consultation regarding your legal needs.

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