SACRAMENTO — Just five of 21 California law schools accredited by the American Bar Association had at least 75 percent of their graduates pass the July bar exam, a proposed new benchmark rate that in coming years could spell trouble for some institutions.

Facing the loss of its authority to accredit law schools, the ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar voted in October to tighten bar passage requirements. If the ABA’s House of Delegates approves the new rules at its February meeting, at least 75 percent of a school’s alumni must pass the bar within two years of graduation, instead of the current five-year window. The requirement could start as early as the July 2017 exam.