Just what California desperately needs - another lawyer!
I PASSED THE BAR!
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.