Legal Education

Summary of Educational Requirements to Take the California Bar Examination

This is an unofficial summary of the educational requirements to take the California Bar Examination established by Section 6060 of the California Business and Professions Code and repeated in the Rules Regulating Admission to Practice Law in California.

Persons contemplating applying to take the California Bar Examination should review the Rules to determine if they satisfy the educational requirements to take the examination.

Eligibility questions should be referred to the Office of Admissions, The State Bar of California, 845 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90017-2515. To be eligible to take the California Bar Examination, one must have completed at least two years of college before beginning the study of law or must have passed certain specified College Level Equivalency Program examinations before beginning law study and must have graduated from a law school approved by the American Bar Association or accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of The State Bar of California or have completed four years of law study at an unaccredited or correspondence law school registered with the Committee or studied law in a law office or judge's chambers in accordance with the Rules Regulating Admission to Practice Law in California.

Those studying law who did not successfully complete their first year of law study at a school approved by the American Bar Association or accredited by the Committee must take the First-Year Law Students' Examination upon completion of their first year of law study. They must pass the examination within three administrations of first becoming eligible to take it in order to receive credit for law study accomplished up to the time of passage. If they pass the examination on their fourth or more attempt, they will receive credit for only one year of law study.

Additional Sources: Rules of Court, Education Code §94361; and the State Bar Act, Article 4 (Business and Professions Code §6060 and §6061).

Rules of The State Bar of California - Title 4, Division 1, Chapter 3, Rule 4.26

Law Schools in California

Qualifying for Admission to Practice Law in California through Fixed-Facility Law Study

Qualifying for Admission to Practice Law in California through Correspondence or Distance Learning Law Study

Qualifiying for Admission to Practice Law in California through Study in a Law Office or Judge's Chamber

Qualifying for Admission to Practice Law in California  - Foreign Education