Monterey College of Law Early Graduates Exceed State-wide Bar Pass Rate

  A tenacious group of early graduates from Monterey College of Law’s Class of 2012 achieved a 60% pass rate on the 2012 February California Bar Exam, exceeding the 42% state-wide bar pass rate for all first-time takers. Members of the Class of 2012 who passed the February bar exam are Vanessa Cardinale, Brian Mathias, and Laura Franklin. The majority of their 2012 classmates are preparing to take the upcoming July bar exam.

The three new lawyers are joined by previous graduates Brigitte Cullem and Deborah Guidinger, who also passed the February bar exam. The results increase Monterey College of Law’s most recent five year cumulative pass rate for the graduating classes of 2007 through 2011 to 65%.

“The success of our graduates reinforces the law school’s reputation as one of the top performing California accredited law schools on the challenging California Bar Exam,” said President and Dean Mitchel Winick.

“The extraordinary effort that each graduate dedicates to prepare for the California bar exam never fails to impress me. They go into the process knowing full well that on a state-wide average, six out of every ten participants will have to prepare for the exam more than once in order to earn their license to practice law in California. It is a daunting experience and an effort that I admire greatly, regardless of the individual exam results,” stated Winick.

The law school will be hosting a public swearing-in ceremony at the school’s Community Justice Center. Details will be posted on the school’s website at
Local graduates from other law schools who would like to participate in the public swearing-in ceremony should contact Lisa Williams at the law school at 831-582-4000.


Five-year Cumulative Pass Rates for
MCL Graduating Classes: 2004 to 2011
(through the February 2012 bar exam)

2007 – 2011 . . . 65%
2006 – 2010 . . . 62%
2005 – 2009 . . . 58%
2004 – 2008 . . . 52%


The law school also invites members of the public to attend the 36th Commencement Exercises honoring the MCL Class of 2012 that will be held Sunday, May 27th at 1:00 p.m. in the courtyard at Santa Catalina School, 1500 Mark Thomas Drive, Monterey. The Board of Trustees will be honoring former deans Karen Kadushin and Fred Herro with Honorary Doctors of Jurisprudence for their many years of distinguished service to the law school and the community. Michelle Welsh, Constitutional Law Professor of Monterey College of Law will be presenting the commencement address.

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