All students should be aware that in order to practice law, it is necessary to be admitted to a state Bar after graduation from law school. Each state Bar has character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission. Students are advised to contact the Committee of Bar Examiners in the state(s) in which they intend to practice for information regarding these requirements. Admission to and successful completion of law school does not ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements for admission to the Bar of California or any other state. The National Conference of Bar Examiners website contains information on state bar exams, admission requirements, and links to most state Bar offices.
All California State Bar forms are available on the California Bar website.
|EXAMINATION||EXAM DATES||APPLICATION AVAILABILITY||TIMELY FILLING||FINAL FILING DEADLINE|
|FEBRUARY||February 25, 26, & 27, 2014||October 1, 2013||November 1, 2013||January 15, 2014|
|JULY||July 2014||March 1, 2014||April 1, 2014||June 2014|
Beginning with the administration of the July, 2012 California Bar Examination, the bar examination application asks the applicants for their “NCBE Number.” In the instructions that accompany the bar examination application, applicants are advised of the following:
If you intend to practice law in the State of California, you must register with the California State Bar. If, beginning your second year of law school, you want to participate in Practical Training as a law student, you must register with the California State Bar even if you do not intend to practice law in California upon graduation.
In addition to passing the California Bar Examination, applicants for admission to practice law in California must take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) in accordance with Rule VIII of the Rules Regulating Admission to Practice Law in California. Applicants may take the examination anytime after completing their first year of study and after registering with the Committee of Bar Examiners. The required minimum score on the MPRE in California is an ungrounded, scaled score on 86.00. A separate application must be filed for the MPRE.
In addition to passing the required examinations, applicants seeking admission to practice law in California must file an Application for Determination of Moral Character. The application is a separate form and initiates the moral character review process. The application may be filed at any time, but applicants should be aware that the review process is very time consuming and usually will take up to 180 days to complete. Applicants are not eligible for admission until a positive moral character determination has been made and all other admission requirements have been met.
You likely will be permitted to take the Bar exam without yet having received the results of your application for determination of moral character; however, you will not be certified to practice until your application receives a positive determination. If you wait to submit your application for determination of moral character until after you have taken the bar exam, this could cause you undue hardship in securing your job placement.
If you have any reason to doubt that you will receive a positive determination of moral character, the earlier you apply and receive your determination, the better off you are likely to be. If something negative is reported during the review process, the Committee will try to provide alternatives for clearance rather than deny admission. Few people are barred from taking the Bar exam.
The California State Bar now requires the date of your fingerprinting to be within three (3) months prior to the filing date of your Moral Character application. If you have not been fingerprinted for the Moral Character application, fingerprinting is usually available on “To Do Day” each semester on the Dobbs Atrium.
For a list of authorized fingerprinting locations, please visit the California Bar website.