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Lowering the bar to become an attorney? CA's licensing test could become easier to pass

Lowering the bar to become an...

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Lawyers say it's hardest exam for licensing attorneys at out all 50 states and it feels really good when you pass. 

"Other than my wedding day and the birth of my daughter, I have to say it was the best day of my life - it was a long and hard process to study for the test and then you wait a long time as well so that kind of builds up the anticipation so when I found out I passed, it was truly a great day," says family law attorney Justin Arnold. 

Now more changes could be coming to California's Bar Exam, the two day test attorneys are required to take in order to legally practice law. 

"I think it's interesting that people are having a harder time passing the bar now.. What's changed?? Have people's intelligence dropped?," asks criminal defense attorney Adrian Haddad. 

It's unclear what the reason is, but the California Bar Exam in July had a high number of people fail the test. 

Now there's a push to lower the minimum score required to pass by three points in that July exam, which would help increase the number of people passing. 

"The high standards are there to protect the public I believe and while it's certainly possible for someone to not pass the first time or the second time and pass and be a very good attorney - and I know a lot of examples of people who do that, I do think it's important to keep high standards," Arnold says. 

The Bar Association believes this low pass rate could lead to a potential decline in the amount of lawyers throughout the state.

"There's plenty of lawyers in California - I mean believe me I had a hard time finding work right out of law school so I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing.. I don't think all people should necessarily be lawyers," says Haddad. 

But one aspiring law student says lowering the scores could be good for the next generation of attorneys.

"Yeah I think lowering it does relieve some of the concerns about taking the bar exam..kinda takes some of the pressure off," says future law student Rachel Robinson. 

Now California Bar Exam staff will be taking public comment on this until August 25. Ultimately a final decision on lowering the score would have to be decided by the California Supreme Court. 


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