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Monday, November 24, 2008 - 2:54 PM PST

State Bar pass rate highest in a decade

Sacramento Business Journal -
by Kathy Robertson Staff writer

A total of 5,330 out of the 8,637 people who took the California State Bar exam in July passed the test, state bar officials announced Monday.

The 61.7 percent pass rate is the highest in more than a decade.

If the applicants who passed the test in July satisfy other requirements for admission, they are eligible to be sworn in as members of the state bar by year-end. Current membership is more than 217,000 statewide, with about 8,600 in Greater Sacramento.

First-time test takers had a passing rate of 75 percent; repeat test takers had a passing rate of 27 percent.

A preliminary analysis of the results indicates that American Bar Association-accredited schools in California had the highest passing rates, followed by out-of-state ABA-accredited schools. A break-down of results for students at local law schools won’t be available for about six weeks, state bar spokeswoman Diane Curtis said.

The pass rate for the July test is the highest since July 1997. The test is offered twice a year. A total of 1,797 people out of 4,533 passed the February exam, or 39.6 percent.