Alaska Supreme Court approves lowering score required to pass Alaska Bar exam

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The Alaska Supreme Court signed an order on Monday that lowers the score needed to pass the Uniform Bar Examination in order to practice law in Alaska.

The old score needed was 280. The new score is 270, a 3.57% decrease in the passing score. The rule takes effect immediately.

Some applicants just finished the February 2023 Alaska Bar Exam, and their results won’t be known until May. For those who took the February 2023 exam, but did not score high enough but had previously scored a 270 or above on the exam, the Bar Association said it will be reaching out to discuss the best way to gain admission to the bar. Some may be able to apply if they previously had a score of 270 within the past five years.

Uniform Bar Exam states like Alaska have different scoring requirement but test-takers require a score typically between 260 and 280 to pass one of these two-day tests. A score above 280 is considered passing in all Uniform Bar Exam states.

Most states, Alaska included, allow qualifying applicants who graduated from an accredited law school to take the test an unlimited number of times, if they need to, while others put limits on the number of attempts. Sen. Lisa Murkowski failed to get a 280 score four times on the Alaska test, but passed the exam on her fifth try. In 21 states, bar exam attempts are limited from between two and six tries. States with absolute limits on the number of attempts are:

Kansas – 4
Kentucky – 5
New Hampshire – 4
North Dakota – 6
Rhode Island – 5
Vermont – 4

Alaska’s bar exam is administered three times a year, with the next two-day test scheduled July 25-26.

More details on the Alaska Bar Exam from the Alaska Bar Association at this link.

47 COMMENTS

  1. Lisa M may now have a chance! Geeze! Our Supreme Court have problems. That’s all Alaska legal system needs are more idiots representing us in court!

          • Think of how many would-be lawyers there are out there who never passed the bar exam and gave up on the third try. Some of them were good law school students too. Or, think of how many applicants to law schools were rejected because they weren’t brown, black, female, or LGBTQ. Some law schools are taking up to 30% LGBTQ applicants or 30% black applicants. And most, take no less than 60% female applicants. This precludes many very scholarly white, heterosexual male undergraduates from going to law school.
            Think about that guys, when your wife files for divorce with her lesbian attorney before a Superior Court judge who is a black transexual, and married to a lesbian.
            You haven’t got a prayer.

      • Up to a very limited point. A bar exam is not like taking the SAT prior to college applications. I don’t know what profession you have, but a bar exam is a genuine professional hurdle…much more a measure of how well you paid attention and how effective you are at studying.

        I have no serious concern with lowering the bar standard, some, but not overly so.

        If the tradeoff was that it’d be easier to dis-bar someone, well, now we’re talking. Or, for that matter, require practicing attorneys to pass a watered-down bar exam on a periodic basis with emphasis on ethics…then we’d be talking.

        • Not bad points being made here. Applicants to law school also have to do well on the LSAT exam, which is no piece of cake. And, maintain above 3.0 GPA in undergrad school. Lots of hurdles to becoming a lawyer, not to mention financial costs. But then, we end up with all of the incompetent lawyers, who may be politically correct, but can’t reasonably think through the basic reasoning required for life’s most logical considerations.
          Part of the problem with lawyers today is that they don’t have enough business background, they do not have enough general life experience, and they are too unfocused with texting, the internet, and Netflix.

  2. Good. We need to stop letting the reigns of power rest solely in the hands of the ivy league elites. Let honest working class folk guide the direction of our nation and we will be done with tyranny, rampant spending and Godlessness.

  3. Just another example of the lowering and coarsening of standards in this country.
    Is anyone going to try to claim that this somehow represents “Progress”?
    .
    And just what was the rationalization for the Alaska Supreme Court to lower the test standards, anyway? Funny how that little detail went unmentioned and unaddressed.

  4. Hell, I pass the bar everyday right downtown on 4th. Big deal! As for Lisa Murkowski, Suzanne forgot to mention that she took a bar prep course and received the exact questions that appeared on her 5th attempt. That was a huge scandal. But for Lisa, just another way to survive a primary.

  5. This just in… In lesser know news, today the Alaska Supreme Court increased the “wokeness” score required to practice law in Alaska. The new score required is a score of 99.999999999~ out of 100.00 possible woke points.

  6. The lawyer Lisa M had a reputation of not being very bright. Kind of similar to her father’s reputation while he was the senator. Regrettably the Senator Lisa M has not done anything to change that reputation.
    Lisa had to take the Bar exam FIVE times before passing. I believe that is more than anyone else in Alaska legal history in the past 60 Years except for Obermeyer who racked up even more attempts. Being the runner up in this race is not good.

  7. Next step will be to just pass these people if they are participants!! Kind of like trophies for kids that participate. At least they tried.

  8. Lowering the bar? Why because they aren’t smart enough? No wonder this nation is in trouble.
    Not good enough? Ah we will just lower the bar… Ridiculous

    • What they lowered it to is down to about a 50th percentile or C a student. At least they didn’t take it any lower. There’s an overpopulation of attorneys these days. I don’t think we need any lower scoring ones

    • Jimbob,
      That’s what Lisa said. And her daddy paid for her undergrad and law school. Lisa finally did study, though……..the exam answers given before the exam. She actually passed that time.

      • Bar exam preparation courses have always used questions on their practice tests from previous actual law exams. It’s not like somebody smuggled her out the test the night before. All standardized tests are this way. Just so you know

        • The actual test was smuggled out, Greg. It was a huge scandal and put the reputation of the bar prep course designer on the line. THAT was the time Lisa finally passed. Lisa never did any real lawyering. She just used her title to gain entry into politics to keep the Murkowski brand in power for the remainder of their’s and your natural life.

  9. My question is who are they doing this for? What’s their angle for something that should be harder. Somebody’s going to benefit from this just watch.

    • They needed to lower the bar so that they had a larger pool of friends to choose from when appointing new judges.

  10. Where are the holding the bar exam? At the Imperial in Juneau?

    Question 1: can you place an order?
    Question 2: can you understand how much you own?
    Question 3: how long will it take you to compromise your ethics?

    • Who cares……?…….if you know how to mix Jack Daniels and 7, pour a great shot of Dewers, and tap the Amber without suds overflowing……..
      you passed the bar exam.

      • While I can’t disagree with your comment, it is well worth the effort to research the history of the BAR. Critical thinking and investigations are needed at this critical time in our republic.

        • I agree. It has a lot to do with critical thinking. Imagine the bar takers during the covid 2 years being told you don’t have to show up to take the test in person, you can now take it online. Is that something that we want out there, like people who passed an open book bar exam implementing the law? Now even if they pass, once you get a job you still got to be able to keep the job and if you’re a lousy attorney, that will soon be found out. The world is full of lousy attorneys, doctors and yes, Walmart checkers.

          • It’s worse than that, Greg. Today, law firms are having to pay higher premiums for malpractice because their insurers know that new attorneys with less brain matter and more liability are being licensed to practice law. Most of the new attorneys have zero real-life experience, and they have been brainwashed with CRT, LGBTQ rights, inclusion, and all of the cultural nonsense that is plugging-up our country. The business nuts and bolts of law practice doesn’t seem to matter anymore. And on the criminal side, the criminals are being released early by liberal judges who also were brain-washed in law school.

  11. Well nobody gets grades any more and everybody is a winner so there should not be any bar exam. Anybody should be able to be a lawyer by just signing up like they do for everything else. It’s racist to make people take a test to be a lawyer.

    • That’s not the definition of racist. You must be a racist for calling that racist. Just about anyone congratulate from law school these days because mostly law schools are after your dollars. All 200,000 of them. It’s what percentage of your graduating class that may count towards getting a good job, and also how high you score on the bar. But anyone can get a JD as long as they put in the time.

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