Law Office or Judge's Chamber

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

The requirements for admission to practice law in California are contained in the Rules of the State Bar of California, Title 4 - Admissions and Educational Standards. The following is a summary of the requirements for qualifying for admission to practice law in California through study in a law office or judge’s chambers. For the specific requirements, refer to Title 4, Division 1, Chapter 3, Rule 4.29.

To be admitted to practice law in California an applicant must meet all admission requirements, which include:

  1. completion of the requisite pre-legal and legal education;
  2. registration as a law student;
  3. passage or exemption from the First-Year Law Students’ Examination;
  4. a positive moral character determination;
  5. passage of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination; and
  6. passage of the California Bar Examination. Additionally, an applicant must not be certified by the State Department of Social Services as being in non-compliance with a court ordered child or family support obligation.

Applicants for admission must register as law students in accordance with Rule 4.16.

Applicants intending to pursue their legal education through the law office/judge’s chambers program must file an initial report on the designated form within 30 days of the date the law office study commenced. Subsequent reports on the designated form and examinations must be submitted within 90 days after completion of each six-month study period.

A $158 fee must accompany the Notice of Intent to Study in a Law Office or Judge’s Chambers, which is the initial report. A fee of $105 must accompany each semi-annual report submitted thereafter. All reports must include the Law Office Study Report cover sheet and must be submitted by certified mail with return receipt requested or delivered in person to either the Los Angeles or San Francisco Office of Admissions.

Applicants are qualified to take the First-Year Law Students’ Examination after completing one year of law study. Certain applicants are exempt from the examination as specified in Rule 4.55 of the Admissions Rules. Applicants required to take the First-Year Law Students’ Examination, which includes students participating in the law office/judge’s chambers program, who pass the examination within three consecutive administrations of first becoming eligible to take it, will receive credit for law study completed up to the time the examination is passed (calculated to the date the examination is administered rather than to the date the results are released). Applicants who pass it thereafter will only receive credit for one year of law study.