Three-quarters of the candidates who sat for the Virginia Bar Exam in July passed the test, according to the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners.
Of the 571 persons who sat for the July exam, 393 have also passed the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, have met all other requirements for admission and are licensed Virginia lawyers as of Oct. 14. Another 38 persons passed the exam but were placed on the “blue list” due to outstanding requirements for admission to the Virginia Bar.
The 75.48% overall pass rate is up by 10 percentage points from the February exam pass rate of 65.83%. Historically, the July pass rate is approximately 10 to 20 percentage points higher than the February pass rate, according to data from the VBBE website.
Additionally, 79.76% of first-time bar exam takers passed the July exam.
While the February exam produced the highest February exam pass rate of the 21st century, the July results were more in line with prior years. With the exception of the 2020 exam, which saw the highest pass rate in 22 years, July bar exams since 2015 have seen pass rates between 71% and 75%.
Among Virginia’s law schools, the University of Virginia School of Law led the way with a perfect overall pass rate, although the VBBE did not list how many U.Va. graduates sat for the July exam. The bar exam results for Virginia law schools are below.
The Supreme Court of Virginia will conduct an admission ceremony for the 393 newly licensed attorneys on Dec. 7. The ceremony is sponsored and organized by the Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference.
The February 2023 bar exam will be held on Feb. 21 and 22, 2023 at the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center in Fredericksburg. The application deadline to sit for the exam is Dec. 15.
The upcoming February exam will also be the first under newly amended rules allowing third-year law students to take the bar exam. The new rules permit applicants who have “[s]atisfactorily completed legal studies amounting to at least five semesters, or the equivalent of at least five semesters on a system other than a semester system” to sit for the exam.