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Los Angeles, CA |

Can we force a licensing board to disclose"How many candidates approx appear for the examination at any time and what is the passing percentage/rate of the candidates?

Can we apply any statute like there is FOIA for Federal Government?

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Attorney answers 3


Like many things involving government operations, that information about the number of candidates who take the NYS Bar exam and their passing rate is available and is online at this website:

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Thank you Sir for the prompt reply. I'm not asking in particular about NYS Bar Exam. My question is if a National Board be it law,medicine or pharmacy conducts a licensing exam after taking application fees from candidates,is that board obligated to disclose the number of candidates appearing for that examination and the passing percentage etc?

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Jack Richard Lebowitz


I would imagine that would be a question of state law the Board is operating under. Or if it's a national certification, perhaps Federal law. It would probably be particular to the state and federal jurisdictions the board is conducting licensing examination laws for. Some boards, like the supposedly not-for-profit College Board and the exams they conduct like SATs and LSATs are private companies and historically reluctant to release much information. The feds have the Freedom of Information Act and most states have some variant. If the exam is conducted by or for a government licensing board, you can file a request for the records you seek (passing rates) and see what happens. If the state has delegated the responsibility for certification to some private company under contract, the agency might be less forthcoming. Why don't you write the agency involved citing whatever "sunshine" laws there are in your state and see what happens to get a better feel for the answer to your question. I realize you are unhappy with my response whcih was limited to NYS and not all 50 states and the Federal Government, but it's unrealistic to ask that broad, general question on a site like Avvo and someone will provide an encyclopediac response or do hours of research for you. Then there's always google. :-)


This info should be produced pursuant to a demand under California Public Records Act. Most California state licensing agencies maintain their own records and have a designated PRA staff person. Your challenge is to direct your request to the correct person/office, and to adequately and specifically identify the documents that you want. The PRA does not require the public agency to prepare documents or to gather information, only to produce what records and information are already prepared and maintained. The specific info that you want is almost certainly available for one time period or another. It may be that the numbers are kept annually or quarterly if not by exam date.

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.



Thank you Atty Christine for the information regarding California Public Records Act. What to do if the board is a "National Board" based in Illinois? Under what jurisdiction will it come the Illinois or are National boards under Federal regulations?


Much of this information should be available online. It's not clear to me why some of the above lables have been used, such as DUI. Perhaps you'd like to expand on your reason for asking?

Jasen Nielsen

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