The percentage of prospective lawyers who passed California’s July bar exam crept upward to 49.6 percent, ending a three-year skid in scores marked last year by the lowest pass rate—43 percent—in three decades.

The exam results, released by the state bar Friday evening, showed gains among first-time test-takers. The success rate for graduates of American Bar Association-approved law schools in California rose from 62 percent in July 2016 to 70 percent this year. The numbers also were up for rookie test-takers from schools accredited only by California, 21 percent to 33 percent.

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