New York bar exam results released at record speed

October 23, 2023 Robert Abruzzese
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The New York State Board of Law Examiners announced on Wednesday that it has completed grading for the July 2023 New York State Bar Examination, marking the earliest release of results in recent memory.

The July exam had a diverse pool of 9,779 candidates, including those educated in the U.S. and abroad, both first-time and repeat test-takers. Out of these candidates, 6,481 passed the exam, maintaining last year’s overall pass rate of 66%.

Among first-time test-takers who graduated from American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited law schools, the pass rate was 85%, consistent with the previous year. For candidates from New York’s ABA-accredited law schools taking the exam for the first time, the pass rate was slightly lower at 83%, whereas first-time candidates from out-of-state ABA schools boasted a higher rate of 88%.

Repeat test-takers saw an improvement in their performance, with a 29% pass rate, up by 6% compared to the previous year. They accounted for 21% of all candidates who sat for the July 2023 examination.

The exam also drew a substantial number of foreign-educated candidates, who made up 35% of all test-takers. This group saw a modest 1% increase in the pass rate, moving from 44% last year to 45% this year.

Candidates who successfully passed and meet additional requirements will be certified for admission to the bar after a Committee on Character and Fitness review.


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