Posted on March 2, 2023

Delaware Lowers Bar Pass Score, Eases Path for Lawyer Licensing

Sara Merken, Reuters, February 21, 2023

Delaware’s top court on Tuesday lowered the score required to pass the state’s bar exam and adopted other changes to lawyer licensing requirements in the state, which is a major hub for business litigation.

The Delaware Supreme Court said in a statement that the changes include reducing the “cut” score from a scale of 145 to 143 on the bar exam and offering the test twice a year instead of once.

The number of essays on the exam is also being reduced from eight to four, which will shorten the test duration from its current two and a half days to two days, according to a memo from the Delaware Board of Bar Examiners, whose recommendations the court adopted. The number of essay topics will also decrease.


The court said the Delaware bar examination board undertook a two-year review of the test and was partly informed by a 2022 report by a court-created committee focused on diversity in Delaware’s legal community.

The report said components of Delaware’s bar licensing process “may be potential barriers to admission to the practice of law for people from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups who may nonetheless be qualified to practice in the State.”