California’s July Bar pass rate decreased by 7.1% since July 2013. This is the first time since 2005 that the pass rate has dropped below 50%.


Since 1951, the bar has seen the pass rate drop below 50%  12 times. Per the bar exam results available on the California Bar’s website, 1951 saw the lowest pass rate at 39%.


When looking at the year-over-year changes, the 7.7% decrease, while significant has been seen during other years. For example:

  • 2009 – 5% decrease
  • 1998 – 10% decrease
  • 1984 – 7% decrease
  • 1977 – 6% decrease
  • 1963 – 9% decrease
  • 1954 – 7% decrease

.Many people believed the 1998 decrease was due to the student’s “lack of ability to apply facts to law.” The 1984 decrease of 7%  had some people claiming that it was a decline in population competency.

Copyright © 2014 by James Mullen, J.D., Published

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