2010 California Bar Exam pass rates by law school Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Our presentation of data from the July 2009 administration of the California Bar Examination has been our most-viewed post at ProtectConsumerJustice.org. Now we’re pleased to present similar breakdowns from the July 2010 exam.
Both the number of people who took the exam and the percentage that passed were slightly lower in 2010 compared to 2009. The percentage of first-time exam takers that passed in July was 68.3%, while the percentage of repeaters that passed was 21.6%. A total of 4,690 people passed the exam, with a full list available on the State Bar of California website.
Broken down by gender, the pass rates for first-timers were exactly the same for men and women, while the pass rate for repeaters was slightly higher for women (22.0% to 21.2%). Almost half (49.0%) of those taking the exam for the first time were women.
Graduates of California law schools that are approved by the American Bar Association had the best chance of success in the exam. Among first-timers, 75.2% from those schools passed, while the pass rate for graduates of ABA-approved schools outside California was 68.1%. First-timers who were graduates of California accredited law schools not approved by the ABA passed at a rate of 40.4%.
Graduates of schools not accredited by the state and not approved by the ABA did not fare well in the exam. Only 23 of the 115 first-time exam takers from those schools passed (20.0%), and of the 442 repeat exam takers from those schools, only 57 passed (12.9%). Faring particularly poorly were graduates of California Southern Law School in Riverside (3 of 33 passed, combining first-timers and repeaters), American College of Law in Anaheim (1 of 27), Peoples College of Law in Los Angeles (0 of 10), Pacific West College of Law in Orange (0 of 13) and the University of Northern California, Lorenzo Patiño School of Law in Sacramento (0 of 23).
The law school that had the most graduates taking the bar exam for the first time who passed was Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. The California school that had the highest percentage of its graduates who took the exam pass was Stanford Law School; 89 of its 91 graduates passed. Here is the complete list of ABA-approved law schools in California, listed by first-timers pass rate:
Law School Pass Rate Stanford 98% (89-91) Berkeley Law (UC Berkeley) 91% (193-211) USC 90% (157-174) Pepperdine 88% (151-171) Loyola 84% (297-355) UCLA 83.5% (237-284) Western State 83.3% (45-54) UC Davis 81.3% (143-176) UC Hastings 80.8% (295-365) University of San Francisco 76% (111-141) Pacific McGeorge 71% (172-242) Santa Clara 70.4% (184-261) California Western 70.1% (122-174) Chapman 69.6% (96-138) University of San Diego 65% (169-259) Southwestern 59% (144-244) Thomas Jefferson 58% (68-117) Golden Gate 57% (79-138) Whittier 53% (62-116) La Verne* 47% (35-75)
* La Verne was provisionally approved by the ABA in 2006; that approval was withdrawn in June 2011.
Two California-accredited schools that are not ABA-approved deserve mention. Eleven of the 13 graduates of Empire College School of Law in Santa Rosa who took the exam for the first time passed (85%), while 23 of 37 graduates of San Joaquin College of Law in Clovis passed (62%). Two other such schools also had higher pass rates than some ABA-approved schools: Monterey College of Law in Seaside (4 of 6, 67%) and Glendale University College of Law in Glendale (6 of 11, 55%).
Among out-of-state ABA-approved schools, all 23 Yale Law School graduates who took the California bar exam for the first time passed, marking the second straight year Yale grads recorded a perfect score. Also perfect was the University of Chicago Law School; all 17 of its graduates who took the exam for the first time passed. Here are the pass rates for all out-of-state schools that had at least 20 graduates take the exam for the first time:
Law School Pass Rate Yale 100% (23-23) Virginia 96% (25-26) Harvard 94% (73-78) Columbia 93% (43-46) Duke 89% (24-27) New York University 87% (46-53) Michigan 86% (44-51) Pennsylvania 84.8% (28-33) George Washington 84.6% (33-39) Northwestern 83% (34-41) Texas 76% (31-41) Notre Dame 75.0% (21-28) Georgetown 74.7% (59-79) Boston University 73% (16-22) Boston College 68% (15-22) American University 66% (29-44) Washington University 64% (14-22) University of Miami 55% (11-20) Thomas M. Cooley Law School 30% (6-20)
Georgetown led all out-of-state schools with 79 graduates who took the bar exam for the first time in July, followed by Harvard with 78. NYU was a distant third with 53, edging out Michigan with 51.
The State Bar website has complete data from the July 2010 exam, as well as data from both the February and July administrations of the exam going back to 1997.