Nearly 4,000 new lawyers will join the ranks of the
State Bar after passing the July bar exam. Only 51.2 percent of applicants succeeded on
the exam, a pass rate slightly lower than the 52.5 percent rate for the July 1998 exam.
Of 7,720 test-takers, 3,951 passed.
Among the 5,553 first-time applicants, 63.8 percent passed. Of those,
3,434 (68.5 percent) attended California law schools approved by the American Bar
Association, 396 (33.3 percent) attended schools accredited by the committee of bar
examiners but not approved by the ABA, and 46 (23.9 percent) studied law at unaccredited
For the 2,167 repeat applicants, the pass rate was 18.9 percent.
In addition to prospective lawyers, 320 attorneys took the Attorneys
Examination, and 138 (43.1 percent) passed.
Successful applicants who satisfied other conditions for admission
were eligible to be sworn in last month. As of Dec. 1, there were nearly 165,850 lawyers,
active and inactive, licensed in California.