California Allows Online Bar Exam And Lowers Passing Score

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: July 21, 2020

The California Supreme Court announced that the Bar Exam has been moved to October and will be administered online. The state’s highest court also permanently lowered the passing score.

In a letter to the State Bar of California, the high court stated the following:

  • The California Bar Exam will be administered online on October 5-6;
  • The court directed the State Bar to extend registration for the October exam through July 24;
  • The court permanently lowered the passing score from 1440 to 1390;
  • The court directed the State Bar to expedite creation of a provisional licensure program under supervision to 2020 law school graduates—effective until they can take and pass a California bar exam and expiring no later than June 1, 2022.

“The changing circumstances surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in California, and throughout the country, have had an unprecedented impact on professional licensure testing for graduates seeking admission to many professions,” the court wrote in its letter. “Many law school graduates are being substantially affected by the resulting disruption.”

“The court has sought the safest, most humane and practical options for licensing law graduates by encouraging and working with the State Bar to pursue the option of administering the California Bar Examination online as a remote test, to avoid the need for, and dangers posed by, mass in-person testing,” the court wrote.

Ten other jurisdictions, including Kentucky, Arizona, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington D.C., Texas, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania will be administering online bar exams on October 5-6.

For more info: https://newsroom.courts.ca.gov/news/california-supreme-court-lowers-bar-exam-passing-score

The California Supreme Court’s letter can be read here: https://newsroom.courts.ca.gov/internal_redirect/cms.ipressroom.com.s3.amazonaws.com/262/files/20206/SB_BOT_7162020_FINAL.pdf