MCL Graduates Exceed State-wide Pass Rate on February 2015 Bar Exam

The State Bar of California’s Committee of Bar Examiners reported today that Monterey College of Law’s first-time takers exceeded the statewide pass rate for all first-time takers and the pass rates for first-time takers from both the ABA and California Accredited Law School groups. MCL graduates who passed the February 2015 Bar Examination are Vanessa Bonifacio Redula, Matthew Gifford, Daniel Hollingsworth, Sonya Jifkins, Michael Laredo, Anna Louise Stuart, Dorothy Thompson, and Sara Tortorelli.

“We are very proud of the hard work and personal achievement of our recent graduates,” said Mitchel Winick, President and Dean of the law school. “As one of the first California law schools to integrate a bar-study program into our curriculum, we are pleased to see the hard work reflected in the exam results,” said Winick.

As an indicator of the difficulty level of the California Bar Exam, the State Bar reported that only 39.5 percent of all applicants, including first-time and repeaters, passed the February 2015 bar exam.

“The California Bar Exam is acknowledged as the most challenging bar exam in the country,” said Elizabeth Xyr, Associate Dean for Student Success. “The statewide first-time pass rate of 47 percent places in context how hard our graduates needed to work to achieve MCL’s 60 percent first-time pass rate,” said Xyr. “Although we strive to raise the bar even higher, when you look at the ABA law school first-time pass rate of 54 percent and the California Accredited Law School first-time pass rate of 30 percent, it is important to acknowledge how well our graduates performed.”

The preliminary statistical analyses released by the State Bar show the first-time percent passing the California Bar Exam (rounded to whole numbers) by law school type as follows:

School Type
California ABA                                                     54%
Out-of-State ABA                                                41%
California Accredited (but not ABA)                 30%

Monterey College of Law is a California-accredited law school founded in 1972. The main campus is adjacent to CSUMB on the former Fort Ord in Seaside, CA. The law school also offers a first-year program in Santa Cruz. Monterey College of Law also recently announced the opening of San Luis Obispo College of Law ( as an accredited branch of MCL.

The law school offers four law degree programs: a traditional 90-unit J.D. degree; a 36-unit Master of Legal Studies degree; a concurrent J.D./M.L.S. degree; and a 24-unit graduate LL.M. degree.

Monterey College of Law and San Luis Obispo College of Law are currently accepting applications for the Fall 2015 semester that begins in August 2015. For more information about Monterey College of Law and San Luis Obispo College of Law, go to,, or contact Dean of Admissions Wendy LaRiviere at or 831-582-4000 ext. 1012.

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