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39 percent pass February bar exam

The Committee of Bar Examiners announced last month that 39 percent of the would-be attorneys who took the February 2006 bar exam passed. That rate is down a percentage point from last February but up from the February exams of 2001-04. If the 1,872 successful test-takers satisfy other requirements for admission, they will become members of the State Bar, bringing the total membership to more than 207,000.

Of the 4,798 applicants, 1,361 (28.4 percent) took the test for the first time. Of those, 53.5 percent passed. Of the 3,437 applicants repeating the exam, 33.3 percent passed.

The committee also announced that 211 (52.4 percent) of the 403 lawyers who took the attorneys’ exam also passed. The exam is open to lawyers who have been admitted to the active practice of law in good standing for at least four years in another U.S. jurisdiction.

First-timers who attended ABA-approved law schools registered a pass rate of 60 percent. Those who attended California-accredited schools had a 29 percent pass rate. First-timers from correspondence schools had a 36 percent pass rate, and graduates of unaccredited schools had a 6 percent pass rate.

The success rates for repeat applicants from those law schools were lower.

The bar exam is given twice annually, in July and February.

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