California Bar Examination

2020 Bar Exam Information

NOTE: Bar exam information is subject to change without notice. Please verify with bar examiner’s office.

BAR EXAM DATES AND FORMAT

2020: February 25 – 26, July 28 – 29

2021: February 23 – 24, July 27 – 28

The California Bar Exam is a 2-day exam.

Day 1: Three 60-minute essay questions (in the AM). Two 60-minute essay questions and one 90-minute Performance Test (in the PM).

Day 2: Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), a 200-question, multiple-choice exam (100 questions in the AM, 100 questions in the PM).

Bar Exam Locations
Exams are administered at testing sites in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Sacramento.

Ontario Convention Center
2000 E Convention Center Way
Ontario, CA 91764

Pasadena Convention Center
300 E. Green St.
Pasadena, CA 91101

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Los Angeles – Westside
6161 W. Centinela Ave.
Culver City, CA 90230

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Anaheim – Orange County
100 The City Drive S.
Orange, CA 92868

Town and Country Resort & Convention Center
500 Hotel Circle N.
San Diego, CA 92108

Sheraton Mission Valley San Diego Hotel
1433 Camino del Rio S.
San Diego, CA 92108

Oakland Convention Center
1001 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607

Crowne Plaza San Francisco Airport Hotel
1177 Airport Blvd.
Burlingame, CA 94010

Sacramento Convention Center
1400 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Hilton Sacramento Arden West
2200 Harvard St.
Sacramento, CA 95815

The State Bar of California Office of Admissions

Los Angeles Address:
Office of Admissions
The State Bar of California
845 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017-2515

Phone: 213-765-1500

San Francisco Address:
Office of Admissions
The State Bar of California
180 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105

Phone: 415-538-2300

Email: admsf@calbar.ca.gov

Web: www.calbar.ca.gov/Admissions

Subjects Tested

Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)

California Essay Subjects

California Performance Test

“Closed universe” practical questions using instructions, factual data, cases, statutes and other reference material supplied by examiners.

Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam

A scaled score of 86 on the MPRE is required for admission.

Filing Deadlines and Fees

The timely filing deadline for applications is November 1st for the February exam and April 1st for the July exam. Late filing is allowed until January 15th and June 1st respectively.

Exam Fee: $677 Attorney Exam Fee: $983

LATE FILING EXAM FEES:

After Initial Deadline: $50

After First Late Fee Period Expires: $250

Appl. for Determination of Moral Character: $551

Scoring

The MBE score is 50% of the total score, while the written portion accounts for the other 50%. A passing score of 1,440 on a 2,000 point scale is required based on the combined scores of the California Performance Test, the essay questions, and the MBE.

First Year Law Students' Examination

First-year law students completing their first year of study in a juris doctor degree program at a State Bar-unaccredited registered law school, through the Law Office Study Program and those without two years of college work attending a Committee of Bar Examiners- or an American Bar Association-accredited law school must take the First-Year Law Students’ Examination after completing their first year of law study. 

Law students who have been advanced to their second year of law study at an ABA or California-accredited law school and completed a minimum of 60 semester or 90 quarter units of undergraduate work are generally exempt from the examination.

Reciprocity

Admission on Motion

California does not provide for admission on motion. Examination is required of all applicants. Attorneys who have been licensed in another jurisdiction for four years may be eligible to sit for the attorney exam (written exam only).

Acceptance of MBE Score

California does not accept an MBE score from an exam taken in another jurisdiction.

Download printable PDF

Booklet includes info on every U.S. jurisdiction.

Download BAR EXAM DIRECTORY

Printable PDF booklet
includes info on every
U.S. jurisdiction.

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