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Only 50.5 percent pass July bar exam

Just over half the applicants who took the July bar examination passed, the Committee on Bar Examiners reported last month.

The 50.5 percent pass rate is lower than the 56.9 percent who passed the July 2001 exam. If the 3,793 successful applicants satisfy other requirements for admission, they will become members of the State Bar, bringing total membership in the country's largest state bar to more than 190,000.

A total of 7,511 people took the July 2002 exam.

The committee also announced that 141 (38.7 percent) of the 364 lawyers who took the attorneys' examination passed. The passing rate a year ago was 52.8 percent. The attorneys' exam is open to lawyers who have been admitted in good standing for at least four years in another jurisdiction.

Among first-time test-takers, 64.5 percent passed the bar exam. Of those, 68.5 percent attended ABA-approved California law schools, 66.5 percent attended ABA-approved schools outside California, and 29.7 percent graduated from schools accredited by the committee but not approved by the ABA. A large percentage of successful first-timers --- 42.2 percent - were not allocated to a particular school because they did not take the exam within a year of graduation. Most attended ABA-approved law schools.

Among the 2,343 repeat test-takers, the passing rate was only 19.6 percent.

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