Elana Nightingale Dawson and the Greatest Bar Story Ever

This is why it’s impossible to articulate the bar exam to the uninitiated:

A very pregnant Nightingale Dawson, 29, had finished the morning portion of the multiple-choice test Wednesday and had started on the three-hour afternoon part when she went into labor. She had contractions about every 20 to 30 minutes, then about every 15 minutes, she said, and at one point a proctor asked if she was OK.

She finished the test, she birthed the baby, she went on to her clerkship. Nothing, not anything, will stop a bar candidate from finishing that test.

Via the Chicago Tribune.

July 2010 California Bar Exam by the Numbers

Howard B. Miller, 85th President of the California Committee of Bar Examiners

Number of test takers: 8,562 (6,084 first-timers; 2,478 repeaters)

Number of passers: 4,690 (54.8% of all test takers)

Percentage of first-time takers who passed: 68%

Percentage of repeaters who passed: 22%

Mean scaled MBE score in California: 1,453

Mean scaled MBE score nationwide: 1,436

Via CalBar.

The California Bar Exam

— Update —

Here’s a little chart to make things easier to read. The number of test takers is in blue. The passing percentage is in green.

— End Update —

A few things to note:

In the last decade, the percentage of people taking the summer bar exam has increased by 12% and continues to go up.

Judging by the peaks and troughs of the summer passing numbers, with more people passing in the last 3 years the Bar Examiners are apt to make the test even harder.

Note: the reason the winter passage rate is so low is likely because there are repeat test takers from the summer who still haven’t cracked the test.

??Bar Results from the Cal Bar website.

Date of Total Number Total Number Total %
Examination Examined Passed Passed
2010 February 4226 1569 37.1
2009 July 8667 4888 56.4
February 4084 1368 33.5
2008 July 8637 5330 61.7
February 4533 1797 39.6
2007 July 8151 4571 56.1
February 5167 1900 36.8
2006 July 8908 4616 51.8
February 4798 1872 39.0
2005 July 8343 4072 48.8
February 4520 1810 40.0