California Bar Examination Statistics

Attorney Michael Ehline
Attorney Michael Ehline

The California Bar Examination is one of the steps to becoming an attorney in the state, and perhaps the most important. It is sometimes considered the most difficult exam in the country and has a high failure rate. Those that pass are often some of the best lawyers. The exam process is arduous but makes sure that only the most tenacious get through.

There are several ways that a student can become qualified to take the bar exam. They can be an attorney from another state, receive a J.D. from an accredited school, or go through the Law Office Study Program. No matter how you do it, there is a tremendous amount of studying and work that goes into the process.

When you take the bar exam, you are now taking a multi-stage test proctored over eighteen hours and three days. During the course of this test you will answer questions about various parts of the law, including 13 subject areas. The exam taxes the student and is fiercely guarded.

According to February 2013 statistics, it is a sobering experience. Just 41% of all exam takers passed the test. Just over 52% of those trying for the first time passed the exam, but those that took it several times were in worse shape. Only 36% of those that took it multiple times passed the exam. Some rates in the recent past have been higher, but some have been significantly lower. An attorney that passed the California bar exam certainly earned their qualifications.