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The pass rate on California’s July bar exam may have risen to a five-year high but one dean says the state remains on “a wayward path” by holding on to a score requirement that is the second highest in the country.

UC Hastings Dean David Faigman said Monday he’s disappointed that only 70 percent of first-time test-takers at American Bar Association-approved schools such as his passed the test. The pass rate for comparable students in New York was 86 percent.

David Faigman. Credit: Jason Doiy/ ALM

“There’s simply no suggestion that New York is admitting scores of unqualified lawyers to the bar,” Faigman told The Recorder. California is “just out of the mainstream,” he added.

While bar leaders celebrated results that showed a year-to-year increase of six percentage points in the number of students passing California’s exam, a slim majority of test-takers—50.4 percent—still failed. Faigman and others questioned the validity of a test that many graduates still are not 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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