Saturday, November 20, 2004


Just what California desperately needs - another lawyer!


yeah, baby.

Turns out everybody I know from my school has passed. My school is always near the top or at the top in bar passage rates, often #1. Usually around 90% of my school's graduates pass. However, the bar passage rate statewide is very low, so we are still terrified of failing. It was 3 days long, but it wasn't as bad as I had feared - which does NOT mean it was not the most intense testing period I have ever had. It was.

Last July's examination had a pass rate of 49%. When those retaking the test are excluded, first-time test takers had a pass rate of 63%. Thus anytime you hear somebody disparaging somebody who didn't pass, you can know they are an ass. 37% of law school graduates failed it, and usually the person disparaging the failure isn't a law school graduate themselves - so they can stuff it. Somebody who fails the bar can still be twice as smart and five times the lawyer of somebody else who passes.

Problem is, if you fail it the first time the odds of passing drop drastically.

Not for the reasons you might think - a lack of ability. If you are a repeater of COURSE you have a lower chance of passing compared to first-timers. Not necessarily because those who failed it aren't just as smart, but because preparing for the bar is a full-time job, and most people take bar prep courses that are 6 days a week for 6 or 8 weeks. How many people can afford to spend two months not working - TWICE? Thus repeaters usually are studying on their own and trying to squeeze it into their lives, plus they are nervous as hell because of the crushing news that they failed the first time. In July 2003 the repeaters had a pass rate of only 18% - 88% of them failed it again.

In February 2004 (normally the first retest for those who fail it in July) the pass rate was overall was 46% (thus 54% failed). For repeaters the pass rate was higher than in July though, at 30%. Still, more than half of the first-timers failed, and 2/3rds of retakers failed.

And all were law school graduates. That is NOT an easy test.

To everybody who passed, congratulations. To the very large % of those who did not pass, my sympathies, and NO SHAME. It was F'ing hard. And anybody who looks down on you is an ass. Congratulations on graduating law school, and good luck on your retest. Unfortunately, you will need it.


Snave said...

Congratulations! I know a number of people who have taken their bar exam, but only a couple have passed it. Good job!!

vrangel said...

Good job. A lot of opportunities are open now.
What line of work are you looking for ?

By the way there is online petition for that trigger-happy marine. 96000 sigs as I write this :

R said...

As someone who had 96 lawyers in her back yard at her last bbq (okay, only 10..but it FELT like a hundred)I say CONGRATULATIONS. That is a very big deal. The only people to discount it, are those who didn't pass the first time and are seething until they can retake it. Good for YOU!!! Now go forth and prosper.

Frater Bovious said...


Good job. Best wishes to you and I presume some sort of job search with your new status, or a promotion, or whatever should be next in line.


free0352 said...

Hey, congratulations! Any job prosepects yet?

fbg46 said...

Belated Congratulations. Not having to take that puppy more than once is a load off anybody's mind.

justrose said...

TWD -- I can't ever seem to leave a comment on your blog. Blogger is so slow!

But, I wanted to say, a thousand congratulations on passing the bar! That's so great.


ALa said...

Congratulations...I know you worked damn hard for this (and I say it even though all of my overtures of kindness have been rebuffed post-election)...I hope this means that a more cheerful TWD is on the horizon...
Now go forth and makes lots of money...

HowardFromPhilly said...


Well done. I'm thrilled for you. I wish you every possible success, prosperity, and joy in life that you desire and have worked so hard for.

What California DOES desperately need... is a lawyer with the drive, brains and charisma to go out there and make a difference. I have every confidence that you are going to be such a dynamic personality. Good luck and God Bless.

Jensun_Clemike said...

Congratulations TWD and best wishes for your future endeavors.

leftyjones said...

TWD- Heartfelt Congratulations!!! Remember to take a little time for yourself before diving into the fray and definitely take a few moments to enjoy your victory.

The court of the future is going to need people like you.....good luck in all of your efforts!

cheeky monkey said...

Amazing!!!! Congratulations!! It is great news to have a smart as hell, passionate and thoughtful lawyer on our side. Take a vacation and enjoy the post school/bar high.

alix said...

TWD, i haven't been back to your blog in forever (it kept crashing me), but i was thrilled for you when i happened upon this bit o' news!

good on ya! that utterly kicks ass!!! what a way to start 2005.