Cal Bar Results – October 2020
Per the news release from the Cal Bar on January 8:
Today the State Bar released results of the October 2020 California Bar Exam and announced that 5,292 people (60.7 percent of applicants) passed the General Bar Exam. If those who passed satisfy all other requirements for admission, they will be eligible to be licensed by the State Bar to practice law in California. The October 2020 General Bar Exam pass rate is the highest in more than a decade, since July 2008.
“We heartily congratulate the 5,292 applicants who passed the General Bar Exam and the 323 candidates who passed the Attorneys’ Exam in this tremendously challenging year. We are pleased that the first-ever remote bar exam will result in such a large influx of new attorneys at a time when more people than ever need legal help. We hope to welcome all those who passed to California’s legal profession very soon,” said Donna Hershkowitz, Interim Executive Director of the State Bar.
The October bar exam was unprecedented in several ways:
It was administered to a near-record number of examinees, 9,301, the largest cohort since 2013.
It was the first-ever to be administered online remotely. Of the total cohort, 8,920 took the exam online.
It was the first exam graded under the new cut score of 1390, reduced from 1440 by the California Supreme Court on July 16, 2020.
It was the first exam graded under a streamlined two-phase grading system, approved by the Committee of Bar Examiners in August 2020 to increase efficiency and shorten the grading timeline.
October 2020 General Bar Exam preliminary statistics
Completed the exam: 8,723 applicants
First-time applicants: 4,999 (57.3 percent of total)
Pass rate for first-time applicants: 74.0 percent overall
Repeat applicants: 3,733 (42.8 percent of total)
Pass rate for repeat applicants: 43.0 percent overall
Pass rate for the General Bar Exam (rounded to whole numbers) by law school type:
California Accredited (not ABA)
Here is general information about the structure and content of the General Bar Exam.
The Attorneys’ Examination is open to those who have been admitted to the active practice of law and are in good standing for at least four years in another U.S. jurisdiction. Of the 578 attorneys who completed the Attorneys’ Examination, 323 (55.9 percent) passed.
A pass list from the exam will be published on the State Bar website on January 10, 2021. More detailed statistics about exam results will be available in four to six weeks on the State Bar website.
Successful applicants who satisfy all requirements for admission may take the Attorney’s Oath individually or participate in admissions ceremonies held by their law school or others. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, the State Bar’s Office of Admissions will not hold its typical admissions ceremonies and has posted instructions for individuals to be sworn in remotely.
If they have satisfied all other requirements, applicants are eligible to practice law in California after taking the Attorney’s Oath and submitting their oath card to the State Bar. Approximately two weeks after forwarding the oath card to the State Bar, their names will appear on the agency’s roll of licensed attorneys accessible on the State Bar website.