California Bar Examination FAQs

How do I know if I passed the exam?

If you took the February 2017 bar exam, your results will be mailed to you on May 12. You can also determine whether your name is on the pass list through the State Bar of California website beginning at 6 p.m. that evening. You will need your applicant and file numbers to log in and see your results. It will show only whether your name is on the pass list.

Am I automatically a member of the bar if I passed the exam?

No. You will not be considered eligible for State Bar membership unless you have met all the admission requirements. Log into your account and check your admission status to determine whether you have met all requirements and are eligible to take the attorney’s oath. If you have not met all requirements, check to see what still needs to be done.

If I have met all the requirements, what else do I have to do to become a member of the State Bar?

If you have completed all the requirements, you will get an admission packet in the mail that includes your result letter and information about how to complete your membership enrollment card. It includes a membership enrollment  card (also called an “oath” card) that must be filled out and signed by an individual authorized to administer oaths. Many applicants attend the admission ceremonies coordinated by the State Bar, but you do not need to attend one of those in order to take the oath. A list of admission ceremony locations is included in the bulletin for successful applicants, which will be mailed to successful applicants.

After you have forwarded the completed membership enrollment card, which has the oath on the back, to the State Bar’s Membership Records office, you are eligible to start practicing law.

Why do I have to fulfill MCLE requirements if I am a new member?

Every member of the bar must report continuing education credits even if he or she is new to the bar. The amount of MCLE you must complete is based on the date of your admission and begins accruing on the first day of the month in which you are sworn in as an active member of  the bar.

If you have questions about MCLE requirements, read the MCLE FAQ or contact the Member Services Center at 888-800-3400.

Do I have to pay fees immediately when I am sworn in?

No. But all bar members, both inactive and active, must pay annual fees.

Your official date of admission is considered the day you take your oath. Your membership fees will be calculated based on that date, and you should be able to access a fee statement within 30 days. Your fees will be due 45 days from the day you get your invoice. More information concerning fees is available through the State Bar website. If you have additional questions about fees after reading the material on the website, contact the Member Services Center at 888-800-3400.

Where and when are the admission ceremonies?

Admission ceremonies will take place around the state. There are eight ceremony locations, including Anaheim, Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego and Ventura. A list of ceremony times and locations will be available on the admissions page of the State Bar website.

What if I can’t attend an admission ceremony on any of these dates?

You don’t have to attend an admissions ceremony to take the attorney’s oath. You can also appear before a judge, justice or clerk of the court, State Bar of California trustee, military commanding officer, an American consul or anyone authorized to administer oaths.  For more information, see this list of people who are qualified to administer the oath.

What happens if I don’t I get a bar number immediately?

After submitting your completed membership enrollment card, allow one to two weeks for delivery, then check Attorney Search at www.calbar.ca.gov to confirm your enrollment and find your bar number.  If you do not see your name on the State Bar website after two weeks from the date you submitted the card, call 888-800-3400 or email msc@calbar.ca.gov.

Is it possible to get more detailed bar exam results?

Only unsuccessful applicants are provided with more detailed information concerning how they did on the various parts of the exam. This information will be on the result letters that are mailed to unsuccessful applicants and is not otherwise available online or through the admission status screen. Successful applicants are only advised that they passed.

I didn’t pass the bar exam. How do I sign up for the next one?

The next bar exam is July 25 and 26, 2017. The application as an immediate repeater will be available online at:  https://www.calbarxap.com/Applications/CalBar/California_Bar_Exam/. After the deadline, you will have to pay a late fee.