Admissions Checklist

  • Submit Application For Admission with
  • Application Fee of $30.00.
  • NOTE: AN APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION SUBMITTED WITHOUT A PAID $30 APPLICATION FEE WILL NOT BE PROCESSED, AND THE APPLICANT WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY CORRESPONDENCE.
  • Request official transcripts from colleges and/or universities.  Applicants are NOT required to take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).

Admissions Process

Bachelor degree at a regionally accredited or approved school recognized by the Committee of Bar Examiners

  • An applicant applies as a “Regular Student” and must request the school conferring the degree send an official transcript directly to California Southern Law School.

Associate of Arts (AA) degree or Associate of Science (AS) degree at a regionally accredited or approved school recognized by the Committee of Bar Examiners

  • An applicant applies as a “Regular Student” and must request the school conferring the AA or AS degree send an official transcript directly to California Southern Law School.

60 semester (90 quarter units) of college work applicable to a Bachelor degree at a regionally accredited or approved school recognized by the Committee of Bar Examiners

  • An applicant applies as a “Regular Student” and must request all undergraduate schools and law schools send an official transcript directly to California Southern Law School.

Applicants with college work completed that has NOT been transferred to a university, and have NOT received an AA or AS degree:

The Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) now requires that applicants that do not have an AA or AS degree from a school recognized by them, and have completed college work that has NOT been transferred to a university do either of the following:

  • An applicant who intends to begin the study of law must submit a written request for a determination whether he/she has obtained the pre-legal education required prior to the beginning of such study.
  • To request an evaluation, the applicant must: 1) Submit such request on a form provided by the Committee; 2) Include the fee specified (presently $100); and 3) include all certified transcripts necessary (in their sealed envelopes) from each college attended to make such a determination. [Link to: Application for Evaluation of Pre-Legal Education]

At least 60 semester units (90 quarter units) of transferable college credit must be completed to meet the unit requirement to attend the law school.

It is recommended that applicants supply the law school in advance with unofficial copies of all college transcripts to obtain an unofficial opinion of their pre-legal situation.

Applicants with less than two years of college (CLEP exam)

  • An applicant applies as a “Special (CLEP) Student.”

If you have not satisfactorily completed at least two years of college work, but you pass examinations given by the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), you satisfy the requirement to study law. Applicants must pass the CLEP College Composition or College Composition Modular exam (under Composition and Literature subject category) and exams in at least two of the following subject categories: Composition and Literature (the Humanities examination only), Foreign Languages, History and Social Sciences, Science and Mathematics, or Business [Link to: Exam Descriptions]. [Link to: State Bar of California's Policy Regarding CLEP]

The passing scaled score on the CLEP Exams is 50. The total scaled scores fall between 20 and 80.

  • Applicants must request that official score reports be sent by CLEP to California Southern Law School, 3775 Elizabeth Street, Riverside CA 92506-2508.

Recognition of Passing Scores - The Committee of Bar Examiners recognize the passing score of an exam based on the date the exam was taken and the passing score required at that time, even if all required exams have yet to be passed.

Visit our CLEP Applicants page for detailed information.

Undergraduate Work Completed In A Foreign Country

  • An applicant applies as a "Regular Student."

Pre-law studies at institutions outside the United States or its territories and possessions may be accepted

(1) in full satisfaction of the requirements if, on the basis of those studies, a qualified institution admitted the applicant as a graduate student other than as a graduate student in law school, and thereafter either conferred a masters degree, or accepted the applicant as a doctoral candidate, or

(2) in partial satisfaction of the requirements to the extent allowed by (a) a qualified institution on admission of the applicant with advanced standing to a degree program other than a degree program in law, as indicated on the applicant's transcript from the institution where advanced standing was received, or (b) an evaluation by a credential evaluation service approved by the Committee.

  • An applicant who intends to begin the study of law who has completed their undergraduate work in a foreign country must first have an evaluated course breakdown of all-postsecondary education completed. This must be done by a credential evaluation agency approved by the Committee of Bar Examiners. The applicant must request that one copy of the evaluation be sent directly to the law school.
  • An exception to this evaluation requirement is when the applicant has earned a Master's degree at a regionally accredited or approved school recognized by the Committee of Bar Examiners. The applicant must request that one copy of their Master's degree transcript be sent directly to the law school.

Credential Evaluation Services Approved by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California

  • California Southern Law School does not participate in programs administered by the Department of Homeland Security for the enrollment of foreign students.

Advanced Student (Transfer) Applicants

  • An applicant applies as a “Advanced Student” and must request all undergraduate schools and law schools send an official transcript directly to California Southern Law School.

Applicants who have completed law studies at other law schools may apply for advanced standing in the fall, spring, and summer and are subject to the rules of the State Bar. The awarding of transfer credit is subject to the following limitations:

(A) No credit may be granted unless the applicant has passed the First-Year Law Students’ Examination or became exempt while attending an accredited law school. To be exempt from the examination, the student must have successfully completed the first year at the accredited law school and have been advanced to the second year by the same law school.

(B) Credit should ordinarily be granted for whole courses completed not more than twenty-seven (27) months prior to the date the applicant begins study at the admitting law school. This time limitation does not apply to students who have passed the First-Year Law Students’ Examination. In some instances, such as illness, personal tragedy or military service, it may be appropriate to permit credit for studies completed more than twenty-seven (27) months prior to admission.

Applicants previously disqualified for academic reasons may be granted admission when there is an affirmative showing by the applicant that he or she possesses the requisite ability for the study of law. Such a showing may be made:

(A) At any time, if the applicant presents credible evidence that the prior disqualification was not caused by the applicant's lack of capacity for the study of law, but resulted from a traumatic event or serious hardship that prohibited the applicant from performing at her or his normal level; or

(B) After at least two (2) years have elapsed since the disqualification, if the applicant demonstrates that work, study, or other experience during the interim has resulted in a stronger potential for law study than the applicant exhibited at the time he or she was previously disqualified for academic reasons.

Decisions made regarding admission are made on a case by case basis. Factors considered include previous grades earned, and how the student might fit into the program at CSLS while meeting the requirements of the State Bar. CSLS reserves the right to refuse any credit for advanced standing.

Starting First-Year Law Studies Over

  • An applicant applies as a “Regular Student” and must request all undergraduate schools and law schools send an official transcript directly to California Southern Law School.

Law students who attended any law school may restart their legal studies as a first-year law student at the same or another school. No credit for prior law study completed will be recognized by the Committee of Bar Examiners in determining the completion of a year of law study, determining qualification for or exemption from the First-Year Law Students' Examination, or eligibility to take the California Bar Examination.

Law student who seek to restart their legal studies as first-year law students must certify, on a form approved the Office of Admissions of the Committee of Bar Examiners that they understand that no credit will be awarded for their prior law study for purposes of determining the completion of a year of law study, determining qualification for or exemption from the First-Year Law Students' Examination, or eligibility to take the California Bar Examination.

The law school is not required the Committee of Bar Examiners to allow a student to completely restart his or her law studies pursuant to the do-over policy.