May/June 2019


COVER STORY

The Burroughs Years – An Appreciation

Cover Photo Collage

 

EVENTS

Women on the Bench: SCBA International Women’s Day Breakfast Seminar

Four Northern California Inns Come Together to Hear Dean Erwin Chemerinsky

The Law and Human Trafficking – An SCBA Breakfast Seminar Series

 

ARTICLES

California Launches Its First Practice Analysis for Newly Admitted Attorneys

 

VLSP

New Family Law Services Offered by VLSP

 

AI

Robot Judge

 

SECTIONS, AFFILIATES AND DIVISIONS

The Asian/Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento

Wiley W. Manuel Bar Association Honors Black History Month

Barristers’ Club Update

Public Law Section’s Legislative Update 2019

Solo/Small Practice Division

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Message

President’s Message


EDITORS-IN-CHIEF
Betsy S. Kimball
Ellen Arabian-Lee
Editor@sacbar.org

STAFF EDITOR
Maureen Onyeagbako

MAGAZINE COMMITTEE
Betsy S. Kimball, Samson R. Elsbernd, David Graulich, Heather Cline Hoganson, Yoshinori H.T. Himel

CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Mary J. Burroughs
(916) 564-3780 – mburroughs@sacbar.org

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Milenko Vlaisavljevic

ADVERTISING SALES
EVENTS – MEMBER CLASSIFIED ADS
(916) 564-3780 – scba@sacbar.org

SCBA OFFICERS
Sean McCoy – President
Shanae Buffington – 1st Vice President
Trevor Carson – 2nd Vice President
Bryan Hawkins – Secretary/Treasurer

SCBA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Mary J. Burroughs – mburroughs@sacbar.org

California Launches Its First Practice Analysis for Newly Admitted Attorneys

by Shanae Buffington

Standing: Stephen Ferruolo, Robert Bailey, Sean McCoy, Laura Palazzolo, Laura Nelson, Sheniece Smith, Yan Shrayberman, James Henderson, and Ron Pi; sitting: Keri Klein, Sabrina Thomas, Robert Barrett, Shanae Buffington, and Lydia Liberio  – Photo courtesy of State Bar of California

Shanae Buffington is the 1st Vice President of the SCBA and a member of the California Attorney Practice Analysis Working Group. She can be contacted at shanae.buffington@edd.ca.gov.

The State Bar recently launched its first practice analysis to address the declining bar passage rates. The July 2017 bar exam, the beginning of the two-day administration, had a bar passage rate of 49% for all test takers. In July 2018, the passage rate fell to 40%. The decline mirrors a national trend. In 2018, the National Conference of Bar Examiners reported that the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) passage rate fell to a 34 year low.

California’s cut score of 1440 was established three decades ago and is higher than every state except Delaware. Proponents of the current cut score argue it is necessary to maintain public protection, while critics argue it creates an unrealistic barrier to enter the profession. The State Bar licenses more than 250,000 attorneys and investigates approximately 16,000 complaints of attorney misconduct annually.   

In 2017 and 2018, California conducted a series of studies to determine whether the bar exam appropriately tests the knowledge and skills needed by entry level attorneys. The performance studies provide detailed insight on the correlation between demographic (e.g., racial/ethnic status, gender, applicant’s law school designation) and performance data (e.g., MBE scale score, written scale score, total scale score, pass/fail disposition). The studies concluded that the cut score of 1440 was consistent with the minimum competence level expected of entry level attorneys, and suggested that the 13 different subjects tested on the bar exam remain.

In October 2018, the California Supreme Court appointed a California Attorney Practice Analysis Working Group to provide oversight for the first attorney practice analysis. In March 2019, a subject matter expert panel convened in San Francisco to define the classification of knowledge domains or major areas of responsibility that newly licensed attorneys should have, and the corresponding tasks within the domains. The panel’s work will be used as a basis to create practice analysis surveys that will be disseminated to newly admitted attorneys. The goal is to collect data on attorney practices, in terms of knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform daily tasks through traditional or one-time questionnaires. The survey will also use a relatively new approach, called the Experience Sampling Method (ESM).

The ESM will require participants to provide multiple responses (i.e., two to three times a day) at randomly selected times about the tasks that are currently being performed. Ideally, the contemporaneous nature of the sampling method will provide a rich dataset with more detailed and accurate information than one-time questionnaires and will set the foundation for revisiting the bar exam cut score, content, and format. A final report is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.   

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May/June 2019


COVER STORY

The Burroughs Years – An Appreciation

Cover Photo Collage

 

EVENTS

Women on the Bench: SCBA International Women’s Day Breakfast Seminar

Four Northern California Inns Come Together to Hear Dean Erwin Chemerinsky

The Law and Human Trafficking – An SCBA Breakfast Seminar Series

 

ARTICLES

California Launches Its First Practice Analysis for Newly Admitted Attorneys

 

VLSP

New Family Law Services Offered by VLSP

 

AI

Robot Judge

 

SECTIONS, AFFILIATES AND DIVISIONS

The Asian/Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento

Wiley W. Manuel Bar Association Honors Black History Month

Barristers’ Club Update

Public Law Section’s Legislative Update 2019

Solo/Small Practice Division

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Message

President’s Message


EDITORS-IN-CHIEF
Betsy S. Kimball
Ellen Arabian-Lee
Editor@sacbar.org

STAFF EDITOR
Maureen Onyeagbako

MAGAZINE COMMITTEE
Betsy S. Kimball, Samson R. Elsbernd, David Graulich, Heather Cline Hoganson, Yoshinori H.T. Himel

CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Mary J. Burroughs
(916) 564-3780 – mburroughs@sacbar.org

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Milenko Vlaisavljevic

ADVERTISING SALES
EVENTS – MEMBER CLASSIFIED ADS
(916) 564-3780 – scba@sacbar.org

SCBA OFFICERS
Sean McCoy – President
Shanae Buffington – 1st Vice President
Trevor Carson – 2nd Vice President
Bryan Hawkins – Secretary/Treasurer

SCBA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Mary J. Burroughs – mburroughs@sacbar.org

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