Bar passage rates for different law schools are inevitably varied in that the type of law school and the demographics of its students are predictors of performance on the Bar exam. The rates for full-time students at traditional schools are different from those for part-time students at non-traditional schools.
Moreover, the rates for each school, regardless of type, also vary from year to year. This is especially true for schools that have a small number of students taking the Bar. The fluctuation in passage rates is due to the fact that the mix of students taking the exam is different each time.
Indisputably, each group of students taking the exam is unique. They have unique skills, unique qualifications, and prepare for the exam in ways that are not all the same. For those reasons and more, it is common for Bar passage rates to be high some years and relatively low in others.
First-time taker pass rates for Northwestern California University graduates on the California General Bar Examination have been as high as 75 percent (February 1994). Many other good first-timer rates for the school’s graduates have been achieved, for example: 60 percent (July 1994), 50 percent (July 2003), 67 percent (July 2004), 50 percent (February 2005) and 44 percent (February 2007). Yet, of course, there are times when the pass rate is disappointingly low.
The ultimate (eventual) pass rate of Northwestern California University graduates on the examination for the entire time that the school has been in existence, through and including the results of the February 2020 exam, is 52.3 percent. The rate does certainly change somewhat from time to time; however, the school has so far had an ultimate (eventual) pass rate for the California General Bar Examination that is regularly at or around 50 percent.
In July 2020, the California Supreme Court lowered the minimum passing score on the California Bar Examination from 1440 to 1390 for future administrations of the exam. So, it is hoped that the school’s ultimate (eventual) pass rate will significantly increase as time goes on with the pass line at 1390 rather than 1440.
Students who are strongly committed to getting through the law study program, taking a live or home study bar review course, and spending a couple months doing concentrated study before the Bar exam, are likely to do very well in the process of achieving their shared goals of becoming lawyers.
Since the school’s founding in 1982, Northwestern California University graduates who studied diligently and passed the Bar have transitioned to jobs as private practice lawyers and litigators, deputy public defenders, deputy district attorneys, deputy county counsels, city attorney, patent attorneys, tax attorneys, immigration lawyers, bankruptcy lawyers, admiralty & maritime lawyers, arbitrators, mediators, administrative court judges, and staff attorneys working for law firms, private corporations, organizations and governmental agencies.