California bar exam results

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by cbkent, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. cbkent

    cbkent New Member

    The results of the July 2005 California Bar Exam are available today.

    Here is the breakdown by school type (% passing):

    California ABA: First Timers 70%; Repeaters 18%

    Out-of-State ABA: First Timers 65%; Repeaters 12%

    CA (but not ABA)
    Accredited: First Timers 26%; Repeaters 7%

    Correspondence: First Timers 22%; Repeaters 7%

    Unaccredited: First Timers 8%; Repeaters 5%

    All Others: First Timers 39%; Repeaters 14%

    All Applicants: First Timers 64% Repeaters 13%

    I am delighted to be one of the DL JDs (BAU) on the pass list.

    A breakdown by specific school is not yet available.

  2. PatsFan

    PatsFan New Member

    I'm drawing a blank. What's BAU? BTW congratulations!
  3. BryanOats

    BryanOats New Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2005
  4. mattchand

    mattchand Member

    A major personal as well as professional milestone. Congratulations!


  5. cbkent

    cbkent New Member



    BAU is British-American University. It has been discussed in other threads, for those interested.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Congratulations, counselor!

    It is interesting to note that the correspondence graduates did better than the unaccredited (B&M, presumably) grads, and very nearly the same as those who attended non-ABA-but-Cal-Bar-Approved schools.

    I suspect those pursuing the law by correspondence are a group accustomed to self-study, a skill I believe vital to preparing for the Bar exam.

    One might wonder when the normally progressive California will step up and begin approving correspondence schools.
  7. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member


    Welcome to the salt mines! What will you be doing, now? Private practice or government?

    Dr. Douglas,

    On the last legislature, a bill giving sole control over law schools to CalBar failed. That might have helped.
  8. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Why do the repeaters in each category have lower pass rates than the first timers?
  9. worthingco

    worthingco New Member


    It is indeed a major academic and professional achievement.

    Well done.
  10. tomC

    tomC New Member

    New lawyer


    Congratulations. Good luck in the future !

  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: California bar exam results

    Likely because the fundamental reason they failed the first time--insufficient knowledge and preparation--hasn't changed.

    I would be surprised to see it go the other way around.
  12. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    It is true that correspondence schools consistently do better than unaccredited B&M schools. But it is misleading to compare the Bar pass rates for correspondence grads to those of CalBar-accredited or ABA-accredited schools.

    Students in unaccredited schools are required to pass a preliminary "screening" exam, the First Year Law Students Examination, before they are allowed to take the bar exam. Most of them fail.

    If you include the FYLSX as part of the Bar exam, then the pass rate for unaccredited schools fall dramatically. The rates for accredited schools show little change, because only a few marginal students at such schools are required to take the FYLSX.
  13. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Congratulations, Christopher!!!
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Very good point!

    Another to consider is the attrition rates at these schools. I wonder if the attrition rates at correspondence schools isn't significantly higher. This, combined with Baby Bar attrition, may leave behind a very motivated group that has already proven its mettle on the Baby Bar. In that case, you gott wonder why their pass rates aren't higher.

    Oh, and you gotta wonder why CA-Bar-Approved-but-not-ABA-Accredited results aren't higher. What is the CA Bar approving?
  15. bing

    bing New Member

    So, if someone passes the CA bar then basically they have to move to California. Right? Do any law firms hire grads from DL law schols? If not, what can you do to practice law? Hang out your own shingle?
  16. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Exact numbers are hard to come by, but it is reasonable to assume that the attrition rates at correspondence schools are horrendous.

    We can gauge the number of correspondence students entering the "pipeline" by looking at the number that take the FYLSX. The most recent statistics, for the 06/05 and 10/04 exams, indicate that 1,020 correspondence students took the FYSLX, and therefore started the bar exam process.

    We can gauge the number of correspondence students exiting the pipeline by looking at the number that pass the bar. The most recent statistics, for the 02/05 and 07/04 exams, indicate that 83 correspondence students passed the bar, and therefore completed the bar exam process.

    This is only a rough measurement, and there are other complicating factors. But the overall numbers (83 vs. 1,020) are not encouraging.

    This is probably one of the reasons that ABA declines to accredit DL programs. There is obviously attrition at ABA-accredited schools, but most of the people who enroll at such schools will end up as attorneys. But most of those who enroll at unaccredited schools will not. ABA may be reluctant to put its "seal of approval" on institutions where the typical outcome is failure.
  17. intro2life

    intro2life New Member

    Congratulations counselor Cbkent. What you have accomplished is quite an achievement.

    We often read about the various DL bar-qualifying law programs, but it is not as common to read posts from someone who has actually completed such programs and passed the bar. No doubt you’ve done a tremendous amount of study and work to reach this point. Obviously your study strategies were effective, as you’ve succeeded in accomplishing your educational goal. Perhaps you might find the time to post some advice or personal study-tips which you found helpful in your own law program. I suspect that there are many readers of this board who would find such insights valuable. Sharing your own experience would likely inspire countless others.
  18. Kit

    Kit New Member

    Way to go Christopher! Congratulations!

    In addition to Intro2Life's questions above, did you do outside study on your own to supplement your DL program? Wondering if that may have given you an edge to beat the odds.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2005
  19. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Practice outside California


    It varys with the state.

    It also varys with the lawyer's area of practice.

    About half of the states will permit cbkent to take their Bar exams after he completes three to five years in active practice of law in California. Examples include Washington State and New Mexico. Other states, such as Texas and New Jersey, will not permit him to take their Bar exams under any circumstances short of earning a second, accredited or (in Texas' case) at least resident, J.D.

    Once cbkent got admitted to another state that offers reciprocity, some other states would admit him without requiring him to pass their Bar exams.

    There are also lawyers who restrict their practice to federal law and thereby (at least in theory) avoid needing to be admitted in their states. We recently had a thread about a Taft grad practicing as an immigration attorney in Florida. He is absolutely ineligible for the Florida Bar but works out of his Miami (or wherever) office using his California law license before Immigration and Naturalization (or whatever it calls itself now). You could do the same thing with tax or patent law.

    It's a muddle with few clear cut answers.

    The unfortunate truth is, though, that a law degree from an non ABA accredited school, even a resident regionally accredited school, carries with it significant restrictions outside of the state where it was earned.
  20. cbkent

    cbkent New Member

    Thanks to everyone for your kind words.

    Nosborne, I haven't yet decided which of several options I will pursue, but they are in the private sector, not government.

    Kit, the short answer is "yes." I took several bar review courses, including MicroMash and PMBR. In addition, I hired a tutor to critique my practice essays and performance tests.

    In fact, the fees for these courses and the tutoring service exceeded the cost of all 4 years tuition at BAU. When I enrolled, tuition was $2000/yr. By the time I graduated, it had gone up to around $3500/yr. However, in the early days, to close the deal, students were guaranteed that tuition rates would be frozen for them.

    One of my "virtual classmates" who also passed the July '05 exam, sent me a congratulatory e-mail. He mentioned that he had recently spoken to Roger Agajanian, and that Agajanian is working tet BAU reinstated with BPPVE. I'll be watching. As other posters to this forum have noted, no one wants to have graduated from a defunct school. Thankfully, a license to practice law is a credential in its own right, apart from the JD degree.

    As for study suggestions, the magic word is discipline. Calbar requires that you meet certain minimums and log your study hours. However, it is up to you when you do the work. It is easy to fall into the trap of skipping a day you don't feel like studying, and promising yourself that you will make it up later. Once you fall behind, catch-up is very difficult.

    For bar prep, the key is practice. I did over 4,000 practice MBE questions, and wrote out nearly 100 essay and performance test questions. These were graded by a tutor, who was a grader for Calbar. Her feedback was invaluable.

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