Dean Stephen C. Ferruolo and CPIL’s Bridget Gramme '98 (BA), '03 (JD) Testify at State Bar’s Public Hearings

Dean Stephen C. Ferruolo and CPIL’s Bridget Gramme '98 (BA), '03 (JD) Testify at State Bar’s Public Hearings

San Diego (August 17, 2017) - University of San Diego (USD) School of Law Dean Stephen C. Ferruolo and Center for Public Interest Law’s (CPIL) Bridget Gramme ’98 (BA), ’03 (JD), testified at the California State Bar’s public hearings being held to ask for input on whether the passing score on the Bar Examination, which is currently 144 and the second highest in the country after Delaware, should be lowered.

Several law school officials and graduates were also in attendance and called for a reduced passing score on the California bar exam. Ferruolo is among a group of 20 deans, out of 21 ABA accredited law schools in California, who have urged the Supreme Court to adjust the cut score in California to bring it in line with the cut scores in other states.

In her testimony, Gramme, who has been appointed by the California Assembly Judiciary Committee as its representative in the first revalidation of the bar exam in 30 years, reminded the Bar of the antitrust implications of setting an arbitrarily-high cut score, and informed them that the Department of Consumer Affairs, which serves as an umbrella agency for California’s other occupational licensing boards, has maintained a policy for regularly conducing licensing exam validation for nearly 20 years.

Gramme, whose Center for Public Interest Law has monitored the Bar and California’s major occupational licensing agencies for the past 37 years, recommend a cut score of 139 as an interim measure until the Bar can undertake a thorough and rigorous validity study and make a final recommendation to the Court.

Ferruolo testified in San Francisco on Tuesday and also urged the Bar to lower the cut score. He spoke about welcoming USD School of Law incoming 1Ls the night before at USD’s Oath of Professionalism. “I have never seen a group of more motivated young people who want to do great things with their law degrees. They want to change their societies. I’ve never seen people more committed to justice, particularly in the wake of what happened this weekend in Charlottesville.”

“The fundamental question is why do we want to make it so much harder for them to become members of the Bar in this state than in any other state?” he said.

Watch the recorded hearings online. 

About Dean Stephen C. Ferruolo

Stephen Ferruolo was named dean of USD School of Law in 2011. A graduate of Stanford Law School, Ferruolo was in private practice in Silicon Valley and San Diego before joining the USD faculty in August 2011.

About Bridget Gramme

Bridget Fogarty Gramme serves as Administrative Director of USD's Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL). She graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2003. 

About the University of San Diego School of Law

The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 35th nationally and 6th on the West Coast among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 24th nationally and 6th on the West Coast in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.


Bridget Fogarty Gramme and Stephen Ferruolo

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