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Former Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan and 1,871 other men and women can celebrate as California’s newest crop of lawyers. Late Friday, the State Bar announced they cleared the February bar examination, keeping the pass rate at a respectable 39 percent � just 1 percent lower than last year’s winter exam and the second highest February pass rate in six years. “If you look at the summary of results of the past few years, it’s right in line with the February examination,” said Gayle Murphy, the State Bar’s senior executive for admissions. The outcome was especially good news for Sullivan. An of counsel in the Redwood Shores office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, she had almost become the poster child of exam failures after The Wall Street Journal reported she flunked last summer’s exam. That was followed in January by the California Supreme Court’s refusal to let Sullivan appear pro hac vice to help defend South San Francisco-based Genentech Inc. in a $500 million licensing fee case. “I am very happy about becoming a member of the Bar of California,” Sullivan said in a prepared statement released over the weekend. “Having practiced law for nearly 25 years as a member of the New York and Massachusetts bars, I am extremely excited about new opportunities to practice in California.” In the same statement, Quinn Emanuel partner John Quinn expressed delight in having Sullivan at the firm, saying her presence since arriving as an appellate specialist in 2004 has elevated the firm’s reputation. “Through her work with our firm, Quinn Emanuel already has the largest U.S. Supreme Court practice in California,” he said. “We now look forward to her expanding presence in California appellate practice as well.” Besides her five-year tenure as dean at Stanford, Sullivan also was a former Harvard Law School professor. According to her statement, Sullivan has argued before the nation’s highest court four times, last year winning a case that allows California wineries to ship their products across the country. Sullivan was one of 211 lawyers who passed an exam for attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions. A total of 403 attorneys took the test for a pass rate of 52 percent. The overall 39 percent pass rate for the February exam falls far short of the highest rate in recent memory � 50.9 percent in 1992 � but far higher than the lowest, which was 27.7 percent in 1983. According to the State Bar’s announcement, 28 percent of the 4,798 applicants for the winter exam were testing for the first time. Their pass rate was 53 percent, while the rate for the 3,437 repeaters was 33 percent. The pass rate for the February exam, which has a larger number of repeaters, is always lower than that of the July exam, which is comprised mostly of recent law school graduates. For example, the pass rates for the last year’s July exam was 48.8 percent, compared to 40 percent for the February 2005 test. The three-day exam consists of a multiple choice test, six essay questions and two performance tests designed to assess an applicant’s ability to apply legal knowledge to practical tasks.

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