One of the cruel tricks law school plays on a student comes after graduation in an event known as the bar exam. Generally speaking, the Monday following a glorious commencement ceremony on the pristine front lawn at Pepperdine ushers in a grueling summer of study that is worse than any other aspect of law school. The summer culminates — in California at least — with an eighteen hour exam spread out over three days at the end of July. The word miserable comes to mind.
Adding insult to injury, the grading process is slow, and California bar applicants must wait in suspense almost four months to know if they can be sworn in as an attorney — or not.
For 174 of last year’s graduating class of 206, tonight is the night they find out the results.
At 6pm PST this evening, each individual applicant (there were 8,852 in California last summer) will be able to log on to the State Bar of California website to learn if he or she passed. The list of those who passed will be made public at 6am on Sunday morning.
We at Pepperdine Law are quite proud of our performance history on the California Bar Exam. Last year, the pass rate for our first-time takers was 86% (compared to the overall state rate of 68%), which ranked us among the top schools in the state. Still, every year, we all get nervous. One of the worst parts is that, due to the difficulty of the California Bar Exam, even in our best years we know that some of the students we love will have a rough night.
So we have a big night ahead! For those of you given to prayers, I know 174 people who would appreciate a good word or two.