The State Bar of California


When to Apply (1st Time Takers):  March (of Spring semester) of 4th Year For July Bar Examination, or October For February Bar Examination.  Timely filing deadline: April 1st for July exam and November 1st for February exam (unless awaiting results for last exam).  Students must create an account if not done previously, then apply on the State Bar's website.

Scope of the California Bar Examination


 The Committee of Bar Examiners provides reasonable testing accommodations for qualified applicants with disabilities.  Each applicant's request for testing accommodations is considered on its individual merits.  Accommodations are provided for all examinations administered by the Committee.

Applicants should file their petitions no later than four months prior to administration of the examination they intend to take.  Petitions received after the final filing deadline for the examination they wish to take and those that are filed in an incomplete manner will not be accepted for processing.  Early filing allows sufficient time for full review of an applicant's petition, including providing additional information and/or filing appeals if appropriate.  Applicants who wait to file their requests near the filing deadline may not have the opportunity to exhaust all administrative avenues before administration of the examination, such as appealing the decision of the Senior Executive, Admissions to the Committee.


 The State Bar of California's Practical Training of Law Students (PTLS) program certifies law students to provide legal services under the supervision of an attorney.


NOTE: Application for Determination of Moral Character - Applicant's who are in their last year of law study are encouraged to file their Application for Determination of Moral Character at the beginning of their last year of law study, and all applicants are encouraged to file at least eight (8) to ten (10) months prior to the date they wish to be admitted to practice law in California.  Applicants may download the application from the Moral Character Application link above.

Applications for Determination of Moral Character generally will be processed in a minimum of 180 days, unless there are issues in an applicant's background that requires that further investigation and/or review by The State Bar of California, Committee of Bar Examiners/Office of Admissions.  Applicants should make sure they have completed the most current Moral Character Application form and have paid the most current application fee as both the form and fee are subject to change.

Failure to file your application in a timely manner will delay your admission to practice law.

An extension application must be filed by an applicant no sooner than every 18 months and no later than every 24 months after an initial determination of good moral character has been made by The State Bar of California.


Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) (exam March 2019, Saturday August 10, 2019, and Saturday November 9, 2019) - approx. 40 days prior to the examination.  You must be enrolled as an advanced student to be eligible to receive credit for passing this exam.

The minimum passing score required by The Committee of Bar Examiners of the State of California is a scaled score of 86.



Bar Examination Related Fees Effective with February, 2016 Administration

Other Fees Effective January 1, 2016

Processing of applications received with incorrect fees after the effective date will not continue nor will the application be considered filed until the correct fees have been received.  If the correct fees are not received by the published time frames, applications will be considered abandoned and fees that have been paid will not be refunded.

     FEE      LATE FEE  
Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE)

(administered by the The National Conference of Bar Examiners)

Application to Take the California Bar Examination:       
General Applicant (February 2015)    $677 $50 or $250
Examination Laptop Computer Fee/Late Laptop Fee    $153 $15
Application for Determination of Moral Character (MC)    $551  
Application for Extension of Determination of MC    $265 
Admission Certificates      $90  


A person is responsible for 13 subjects on the California Bar Examination. The subjects are:

  • *Civil Procedure
  • *Business Associations
  • Real Property
  • Community Property
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Remedies
  • Constitutional Law
  • *Evidence
  • Torts
  • Contracts
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Trusts
  • Wills and Succession

*Effective with the administration of the July 2007 California Bar Examination the scope of the California Bar Examination includes the following:

The subject of "Business Associations" includes those topics tested in Corporations, Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships (General Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships), Joint Ventures, Limited Liability Companies, and the principles of Agency inherent in business relationships. The principles in the subject of "Business Associations" are covered in our courses of Corporations and Agency.

The scope of the subject titled "Civil Procedure" includes the California Code of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; and,

The scope of the subject titled "Evidence" includes the California Evidence Code and the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Two Day California Bar Examination Effective July 2017

Effective with the February 2015 administration of the Multistate Bar Examination portion of the California Bar Examination, Civil Procedure will be covered for the first time.  The current list of subjects include Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts.

In what areas of law may I practice?

With the subjects available at California Southern Law School, a person can practice in the following areas of law:

  • Criminal prosecution
  • Criminal defense
  • Plaintiff personal injury
  • Family Law
  • Real Property
  • Personal injury defense
  • Estate planning
  • Business law

Many CSLS grads practice law in these areas.

Are you an "accredited" law school?

Ever since its' founding in 1971 California Southern Law School has operated as a law school "registered" by the Committee of Bar Examiners. To explain:

California has three types of law schools: American Bar Association (ABA) "approved" schools (by such "approval" are deemed "accredited" by the Committee of Bar Examiners), Committee of Bar Examiners of The State Bar of California (CBE) "accredited" schools; and Committee of Bar Examiners of The State Bar of California "registered" schools. In total there are 57 law schools of all types in California.

Twenty-one law schools in California are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Graduates from these schools may sit for the bar examination in all 50 states. Additionally 17 law schools are accredited by the CBE. Graduates from these CBE schools may sit for the bar examination in California, but not necessarily satisfy the requirement to take the bar examination in other states.

Then there are law schools registered as "degree-granting" law schools by the CBE, but are not approved/accredited by the ABA or CBE. Of these 19 schools 7 are registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners as fixed-facility schools, 7 as correspondence schools, and 5 are distance-learning schools. All of these schools are considered "unaccredited" law schools. Like the CBE accredited law schools, graduates may sit for the California Bar Examination, but not necessarily other states.

California Southern Law School is a fixed-facility law school because all classes are held in physical classroom facilities. Correspondence and distance learning schools conduct instruction principally by either mailed material or technological (Internet) means.

Like all other CBE registered law schools, CSLS students must take the First-Year Law Students' Examination ("Baby Bar") after completing the subjects of Contracts, Torts, Criminal Law, and Legal Writing. This examination, administered by the CBE, covers Contracts, Torts, and Criminal Law -- all subjects given the first year of law study. Passing the Baby Bar indicates success in first-year subjects and qualifies students to take advanced classes.

Study at, or graduation from CSLS may not qualify a student to take the bar examination or to satisfy the requirements for admission to practice in jurisdictions other than California. A student intending to seek admission to practice law in a jurisdiction other than California should contact the admitting authority in that jurisdiction for information regarding the legal education requirements in that jurisdiction for admission to the practice of law.  Visit the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements publication for further information.