California Bar Exam Results July 2017

California Bar Exam Results

Nearly half of all prospective lawyers who took the California Bar Exam in July passed this year. 49.6% of test-takers passed the exam, up from 43% last year, which was the lowest pass rate in about 30 years, according to The Recorder. 62% of first-time applicants and 28% of repeat applicants passed the exam.

In total, 8,545 people took the exam and 63.2% were first-time applicants. The July 2017 exam was the first time the test has been administered in a two-day format. Exams are held in February and July each year.

A pass list from the exam was published on the CA Bar’s website yesterday. More detailed statistics about examination results will be available in approximately three weeks. If you’d like more information about the passage rates and statistics of this year’s exam, please CLICK HERE to see the published results from the California Bar.

Congratulations to the 4,236 applicants who passed the exam this year!!


Don’t Miss the Chicago Bar Foundation Fall Benefit

Chicago Bar Foundation Fall Benefit

The annual Chicago Bar Foundation Fall Benefit is taking place this Saturday, November 18th. This casual, family-friendly event is the CBF’s biggest annual event. Taking place at the Museum of Science and Industry, this event includes exhibits and activities for kids and a silent auction. There is also delicious comfort food, an open bar and free parking.

Proceeds from this event will help CBF in their mission to ensure that the justice system is fair and accessible to everyone. You can find more information and purchase tickets here.

Also, don’t miss out on the silent auction. It is one of the best yet and you don’t have to come to the event to bid. Register yourself on the auction website and you will have the chance to bid on premier packages like:

  • Become a trainer for a day at the Shedd Aquarium
  • Travel down to St. Louis to watch the Cubs take on the Cardinals with a weekend package that includes watching the Cardinals’ batting practice on the field and visiting the dugout with Adam Wainwright! Hotel and dinner included.
  • Enjoy an in-home catered dinner for eight guests
  • Live it up in a skybox for a Blackhawks game against the LA Kings
  • Plus many more awesome sports tickets, restaurants, alcohol, and entertainment packages! There’s something for everyone here, so get the bidding started early!

    *Note: When you register, you can choose to receive text messages which will alert you to when you’ve been outbid so you don’t have to monitor the page on Saturday night – this is highly recommended for bidders who will not be in attendance!

Virtual Copyrights – how will the government respond?

Virtual Copyrights

Virtual copyrights. What will the law do with the virtual, augmented and mixed realities coming to your smartphone soon? Jack Russo and Mike Risch don’t answer that question but they do provide a roadmap on how the intellectual property laws (and particularly federal copyright law) will adapt and adjust to provide protection for these new innovations at a recent paper entitled “Virtual Copyright” (which is a chapter in a soon to be published VR/AR legal treatise) now available here.

Further commentary is also available at Professor Michael Risch’s blog and at Computerlaw Group LLP, Jack Russo’s law firm website.

Jack Russo is the managing partner at Computerlaw Group LLC and a repeat speaker.

Mr. Russo is a frequent speaker on computer law issues and has given presentations to the American Bar Association, the Practicing Law Institute, the Computer Law Association, and the San Francisco Bay Area Intellectual Property American Inn of Court.

Mr. Russo serves as an arbitrator, mediator, and early neutral evaluator for the U.S. District Court (N.D. California), the Santa Clara County Superior Court, and the American Arbitration Association, as well as a Judge Pro Tempore of the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

Mr. Russo specializes in Internet, computer law, and intellectual property litigation. In addition, Mr. Russo is in charge of the Firm’s entrepreneurship practice.

California Supreme Court will not lower passing score for bar exam

California Supreme Court will not lower passing score for bar exam

Last Wednesday, the California State Supreme Court announced that it will not be lowering the passing score for the state’s bar exam.

While lowering the passing score has been the trend across the country, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye told lawmakers this past spring that the court would need a “fully developed analysis with supporting evidence” to justify a reduction.

California currently has the second highest cut score just behind Delaware. Law school deans, students and Democratic lawmakers have been pressing the court to lower the cut score for a while now. A California State Bar committee recommended in August that the Supreme Court reduce the passing score. You can read more about that on one of our previous blog posts.

You can get the full article from The Recorder here.

Now you can get a college degree in Marijuana Studies

Degree program in Marijuana Studies

Northern Michigan University is now offering a Marijuana Studies degree. This work intensive course of study also covers other aspects of plant chemistry. According to Brandon Canfield, Associate Chemistry Professor, this program, while it may speak to a certain crowd, involves serious work and commitment on the part of the student to be successful.

And with the exponential growth of the cannabis industry, it’s right on time. We would be surprised if other universities, especially in California and Nevada, didn’t go down this road soon as well.

It’s a serious industry worth teaching and studying – both the science of cultivation and the business and marketing side of it as well. In fact, plants are being patented left and right – just like roses.

Currently, about a dozen students are enrolled in the program. In addition to courses in chemistry, biology, botany and horticulture, students will also study marketing and finance. You can find the full article here.

With changing laws surrounding cannabis this may be a degree perfectly suited to jobs in the future. It was recently reported that 2016 saw a 30% increase in sales from the prior year, growing to an astounding 6.7 billion in North American sales.

And, as more and more states legalize marijuana for both medicinal and legal adult use, the Cannabis industry is the new – and probably without the bubble.

Currently, at Pincus Pro Ed, we have several programs focused on marijuana law for attorneys who are interested in expanding their practice into this area of law. In June we held our first cannabis focused program in California and it is available as an audio package.

Just this month we held a fantastic program in Chicago, focusing on the recent changes in the state of Illinois (where it is legal for medicinal use only, but adult use legislation has been introduced). You can find more information on the audio package, as well as testimonials, here.

There are updated programs in the works for 2018 as well. Be sure to stay tuned for more information on that.

11th Circuit Rules that Jurors Can Be Asked About Anti-Gay Bias

11th Circuit Rules that Jurors Can Be Asked About Anti-Gay Bias

The 11th Circuit Court rules that jurors can be asked about anti-gay bias. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit overturned a verdict because the judge refused to allow jurors to be questioned about bias against homosexuals. According to the per curiam opinion released Thursday the court said:

“The district court abused its discretion by failing to inquire about prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation during voir dire.”

Gay rights advocates are cheering this opinion. “LGBT individuals facing trial have the same right to a jury of their peers, free from prejudice, as every other American,” D’Arcy Kemnitz, executive director of the National LGBT Bar Association, said in a news release Thursday. “Today’s decision goes a long way in ensuring that these rights are granted. No one should ever face a jury filled with potential animus, and it is time that members of the judiciary recognize sexual orientation and gender identity as legitimate classes in need of protection.”

Read more from The Recorder here.

Free Concernt Tonight

In honor of Pro Bono week, free concert tonight

In honor of Pro Bono Week, Gary Greene, Esq. and His Big Band of Barristers will be playing a free concert at the Los Angeles Law Library. Singers-In- Law will be performing with the band as well. This concert will provide a great chance to network while listening to some wonderful music from the Golden Era of Big Band all while raising awareness about the importance of pro bono work.

This free event is taking place tonight. Tickets are not required but if you plan on attending you should RSVP. You can do so here.

Also, don’t miss the LA Lawyers Philharmonic and Legal Voices at their Fall Concert on Saturday, November 18th. This event will take place at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theatre and includes highlights from Beethoven’s 7th Symphony as well as Broadway musicals.

Tickets are required for this event and can be purchased here.

2017 Pro Bono Week Oct 23-27

Chicago Bar Foundation Fall Benefit

The Chicago Bar Association and Chicago Bar Foundation are holding their annual Pro Bono Week October 23rd – 27th.  Several complimentary events will be held. Law students and non-members are welcome to attend.

In 2005 the CBF, with the Chicago Bar Association, launched their annual Pro Bono Week to honor lawyers’ pro bono efforts and to educate the public and the legal community about how these lawyers are improving the lives of the less fortunate.   Pro Bono Week is just one part of the CBF’s year-round strategy to promote and support pro bono in our community.

You can find a full listing of the offerings and register here.


Cannabis Regulation in California

Cannabis Blog Image

January 1st will mark the first day of legal adult use of recreational cannabis in California.  With an Instagram account and new website the Bureau of Cannabis Control in California will re-focus its purpose from regulating the medical industry to regulating the legal market for adult use.  Read more from The Recorder here.

With changing laws and regulations in California, and across the nation, it is more important than ever to stay up to date on the expanding area of law.  Recently, we held a cannabis law program in California which focused on advising clients in the new legal marijuana industry.  This program is currently available as an audio program.  You can find more information or purchase that here.