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Bar exam pass rate goes up slightly to 37.3 percent

Although only 37.3 percent of the applicants who took the February bar examination passed, the number was up nearly four percentage points from last year's February exam.

The Committee of Bar Examiners also announced last month that 227 (60.7 percent) of the 374 lawyers who took the Attorneys' Examination passed. That rate is higher than last February's pass rate of 56.3 percent.

On the regular bar exam, the committee reported that 1,564 of the 4,191 applicants were successful. If they satisfy other requirements for admission, they will become members of the State Bar, bringing the total number of lawyers in California to more than 192,000. Among the successful applicants, 1,280 were first-time test takers. Just over half (50.2 percent) passed, and the majority of those attended law schools approved by the American Bar Association.

Figures were not immediately available for applicants from Concord University School of Law, an exclusively online law school that graduated its first class of 10 last year. Concord, a well-financed operation backed by Kaplan Higher Education, has been seeking accreditation by the State Bar. So far, however, Concord students are included with correspondence school students.

The pass rate for first time applicants in the correspondence school group was 42.6 percent. The three-day bar exam is given twice a year, in February and July.

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