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Just 27.3 percent of would-be lawyers passed California’s February 2018 bar exam, an all-time low pass rate based on records stretching back to 1951, according to test data released Friday.

The dismal scores mirror a national trend for the winter sitting of the exam. The average score on February’s multistate bar exam, the 200 multiple-choice question portion of the test used in every state, fell 1.3 points from the previous year to 132.8, according to the National Conference of Bar Examiners. That is the lowest average score in more than 10 years and marks the fourth straight year that the February average declined.

First-time test-takers of the February 2018 exam continued to do better than those repeating the exam with a 39 percent pass rate. Graduates of American Bar Association-approved law schools based in California did the best of any group, with 46 percent passing.

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Cheryl Miller

Cheryl Miller, based in Sacramento, covers the state legislature and emerging industries, including autonomous vehicles and marijuana. She authors the weekly cannabis newsletter Higher Law. Contact her at [email protected]. On Twitter: @CapitalAccounts

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