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California Bar Opts For Mindset Intervention

Sacramento California outside capital building

March 12, 2018

California has a consistently low passing rate for bar exams, but the Golden State has come up with a possible solution. The Board of Trustees of the State Bar has approved a  memorandum of understanding with the Productive Mindset Intervention Research Team, to improve applicants’ performance. The memo says, “Productive mindset interventions help students appraise learning and performance challenges as common, surmountable, and even useful.” The decision to try psyching prospective lawyers came after the 2016 exam yielded a 43 percent pass rate. Test takers for the July 2018 bar will have the opportunity to “opt-in” to a study and consent to having their scores evaluated for purposes of determining the intervention’s effectiveness. The study will be entirely online, and those who choose to participate will receive the intervention by email in May, with “boosters” in late June and early July. Writing in abovethelaw.com, attorney Jill Switzer is less than enthusiastic, and suggests that exam-takers accept the test “ one of the many trials (pun intended) they’ll encounter in practice.”

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