May 17, 2019 – The State Bar has released results of the February 2019 California Bar Exam and announced that 1,458 people (31.4 percent of applicants) passed the General Bar Exam. This is an increase of 4.1 percentage points over last year’s February pass rate of 27.3 percent. If those passing applicants satisfy all other requirements for admission, they will be eligible to be licensed by the State Bar to practice law in California.
The mean scaled Multistate Bar Examination score on the February 2019 Bar Exam in California was 1370, an increase of 1.01 percent from 1355 last year. Similarly, the national mean score of 1340 edged up approximately 1 percent from the previous year’s mean of 1328.
The State Bar’s comprehensive series of studies of the bar exam have included a review of the passing score and whether the content of the bar exam is appropriate to test the knowledge and skills needed by entry level attorneys.
This year for the second year, applicants for the July Bar Exam can participate in the California Bar Exam Strategies and Stories Program, an online learning experience designed to help applicants prepare for the exam. The program is being tested for its impact on test-takers’ performance.
Initial results from last year were promising; this year the intent is that a larger sample size will validate the program’s efficacy. July 2019 Bar Exam applicants can apply to participate for free in the Strategies and Stories program until June 7, 2019.
Meanwhile the State Bar will launch this summer an all-attorney survey for the first-ever California Attorney Practice Analysis Study. The effort will collect detailed information about the knowledge and skills needed by entry-level attorneys in California. Study results will provide the foundation for future evaluation of the content, format, and pass line of the California Bar Exam. The study is currently expected to be published in December 2019.