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For Victims of the California Bar Exam, Is There a Silver Lining?

The pass rate numbers for the California bar exam are bad -- really bad. If you took it, there's basically a third of a chance you passed -- and that's if you were a randomly chosen individual. If you took the test and you were from an out of state, non-accredited law school? Why were you even sitting for this thing?

Still, we remain hopeful and have pushed an idea that this could be the beginning of the bottom. At least, we hope so.

You've graduated from law school. Now the real challenge begins: surviving the bar exam! For most new-J.D.s, this means hundreds of hours studying black letter law that you probably only touched on in your three years of law school.

The key to doing well on the bar exam is simple: study, and study effectively. To help you out, here are our top seven bar study tips, from the FindLaw archives.

Bankruptcy Judge Offers You Hope: Discharge Your Bar Study Loan

Law students know the refrain all too well: you can't discharge your law school loans. But a recent ruling out of New York Bankruptcy court suggests that at least some bar related debts might be discharged successfully in a Chapter 7. Is that a ray of light on on the horizon?

Actually, now that we mention law school loans, this would be an excellent time to refer readers to our earlier piece on student debt forgiveness.

MBE Scores Lowest in 33 Years: When Will the Pain Stop?

Unfortunately, nobody was expecting good news to come out of the last administration of the bar exams, but when word got out that the MBE scores slipped to a 33-year low, we had to ask: when will the pain stop?

The average scaled score for the February administration of the MBE notched down again to 135, down from 136.2 from last year and the lowest it has been since 1983. This is also despite a somewhat counterintuitive increase in the number of test-takers this year -- a four percent jump, in fact.

Oklahoma Lowers Bar Exam Standards

It appears that Oklahoma's Supreme Court ruled in a split 5-4 decision to lower bar exam standards. Specifically, the state will adjust its acceptable MBE scaled score in response to ever faltering law school admissions rates.

Reactions from opponents have been clear from the dissent. We hope this isn't a new reality for law in this country.

DC Is the 20th Jurisdiction to Adopt the UBE

A recent order from the D.C. Court of Appeals confirms that D.C. will be the twentieth jurisdiction to adopt the Uniform Bar Examination -- better known as the UBE. It will begin administering the exam this July.

It seems like only yesterday that a mere scant sixteen jurisdiction had adopted the UBE with the most notorious convert being New York.

It happens. Despite years of hard work and dedication, every year thousands of attorneys fail to pass the bar exam. This year was particularly bad, with some of the lowest pass rates ever in many states.

So, don't worry, if you failed, you're not alone -- and you can still go on to have a successful career. But what should you do in the meantime?

Harvard Professor: 'Low Bar Passage Rates Can Be a Good Thing'

Harvard law Professor Noah Feldman recently put forth the suggestion that it's not up to law school admissions to baby law school applicants out of applying for schools; its up to students to make their own decisions.

Although there is nothing particularly earth shattering about this statement, it strikes some people as being outrageous, given that bar passage rates have been plummeting. But the professor remains adamant in his position. Although, Harvard JDs probably don't have too hard a time with the bar exam, do they?

It's a tough time to be a law school. Your grads are failing the bar at incredibly high rates. The smart kids are all going to grad school to be coders, not lawyers. Grads are indebted, unhappy, and unemployed. Even The New York Times has started calling some law schools scams. Scams.

Will anyone do what's necessary and start putting some law schools out of their misery?

There have been bank robbers, drug dealers, and even murderers who have all become lawyers. But convicted sex offenders? That might be a step too far for the Ohio bar, which is seeking to prevent a former Army officer convicted of trying to have sex with young girls from taking the state bar exam.

The Ohio Supreme Court recently heard arguments in the case of John Tynes, the former sex offender seeking to become a lawyer. Tynes served 19 months in prison 17 years ago, after he was caught trying to meet a girl younger than 15 for sex.