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Your definitive source for admission requirements is the California Bar Exam & Admissions website. A detailed list of admission requirements for all U.S. jurisdictions can be found at the National Conference of Bar Examiners website. Below, however, is a checklist that summarizes the general requirements for most students seeking admission to the California Bar.
- Register: You must register with the State Bar of California. This is usually done at the beginning of your first year at Southwestern.
- Take the MPRE: Taking the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is a prerequisite to Bar admission. The MPRE is a sixty question, two-hour and five minute, multiple-choice examination. The exam is administered three times a year in March, August, and November. Students are encouraged to take the MPRE examination immediately after completing their Legal Professions course.
- Submit Moral Application: Submitting a completed Application for Determination of Moral Character is another prerequisite to Bar admission. You must submit this at least eight months prior to the date you wish to be admitted to practice law. Once the Bar determines you are morally fit to be admitted to the Bar, the determination is valid for two years.
- Submit Bar Application: You should apply for the February Bar around November 1; the final deadline is January 16. For the July Bar, you should apply around April 1; the final deadline is June 15.
- Graduate: You must graduate from Southwestern with a Juris Doctor degree. Once you submit the Application to take the California State Bar Examination, the California Bar will send Southwestern a certification form. Southwestern verifies your graduation date and degree and submits an official transcript to the California Bar.
- Take Bar Exam: The bar exam is administered twice a year in February and July.
- Check Results: The results for the July bar usually are released in late November. The results for the February bar are usually released at the end of May.
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