Court rules State Bar applicants personal information is private

A judge ruled Monday to affirm the State Bar of California’s decision to protect the personal information of bar applicants, a State Bar spokeswoman said.

Such personal information includes race, ethnicity, law school, grade-point average, LSAT score and bar score.

Under Senate Bill 387, approved in October 2015, the State Bar of California became subject to the California Public Records Act.

Monday’s ruling specifies that under this law, identifying information submitted to the bar by an applicant “shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed pursuant to any law, including the CPRA.”

University of California at Los Angeles professor and affirmative action critic Richard Sander, along with others, brought the lawsuit seeking 36 years of personal information about bar applicants, State Bar spokeswoman Laura Ernde said.

Law school professor Erika Wilson testified that disclosure of the data could unfairly identify her because she was one of only four black women to graduate from UCLA during her class year.

“The bar is committed to protecting the individual privacy interests of all applicants who take the bar exam,” State Bar executive director Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker said in a statement.