California Bar Exam 2022 – Admission, Eligibility, Exam Date, Fee, Details

Checkout the California bar exam 2022 details in this article. Here we’ve provided the California bar exam admission, fee, application deadlines, California bar exam dates and other important details about California bar examination.

California Bar Exam Admission

Applicants are expected to know the California Rules of Professional Conduct in effect at the time the California bar exam is administered (current law). The rules were substantially revised effective November 1, 2018. Minor amendments were made subsequent to that date. The latest amendments, amending Rule 1.1 [Competence] and Rule 5.4 [Financial and Similar Arrangements with Nonlawyers] were amended by the Supreme Court effective March 22, 2021. These rules are within the scope of the upcoming February 2022 California Bar Examination. Instructions for Essay Questions and Performance Test.

Score & Grading

The California Bar Exam consists of the General Bar Examination and the Attorneys’ Examination. 

The General Bar Exam consists of three parts: five essay questions, the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), and one performance test (PT). The parts of the exam may not be taken separately, and California does not accept the transfer of MBE scores from other jurisdictions. The Attorneys’ Exam consists of the essay questions and performance test. 

Admission Requirements

Practicing lawyers in California must be licensed by the State Bar. The State Bar’s admission requirements are set by the California Business and Professions Code.

Register as a law student or attorney applicant

  • Begin the admissions process by registering as a law student or attorney applicant as soon as possible. Use the online application.
  • Track the status of an application and eligibility with an Admissions account or Status Screen.

Educational Qualification

California lawyers can meet the legal education requirement in different ways. Most receive a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from law schools registered by the State Bar (California-accredited) or approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). But there are other ways to get a legal education. Find out more about what education is required when applying to the California Bar Exam.

Special Admissions

Attorneys admitted in other U.S. jurisdictions may be eligible to practice law in California under limited circumstances through one of several State Bar special admissions programs.

Multijurisdictional Practice Program

Attorneys licensed in other states may practice in California to a limited extent as in-house attorneys or as legal services attorneys in accordance with the Supreme Court and State Bar rules.

Pro Hac Vice

An attorney who doesn’t live, work, or conduct regular business in California can petition the court to represent their client under a title called “Pro Hac Vice.”

Attorneys licensed in another state must formally request permission from the court before which they wish to appear on behalf of a client for a particular case. 

Out-of-State Attorney Arbitration Counsel

An attorney who wants to provide legal help as arbitration counsel in California, but who is not admitted to the State Bar of California, may apply to the Out-of-State Attorney Arbitration Counsel program. Attorneys must be in good standing and eligible to practice before another U.S bar.

Foreign Legal Consultants

A registered foreign legal consultant is an attorney or counselor at law (or equivalent) licensed in another country who has received special certification from the State Bar of California to provide legal advice in California exclusively regarding the law where they are licensed to practice law. 

Practical Training of Law Students Program

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

Provisionally Licensed Lawyers

Under this program, eligible 2020 law school graduates will practice law as provisionally licensed lawyers under the supervision of fully licensed lawyers who meet the requirements of the rule and who agree to assume professional responsibility over the work of the provisionally licensed lawyers.

California Bar Examination

The California Bar Exam is given twice each year. The exam is given over two days and consists of the following parts:

  • Five one-hour essay questions
  • One 90-minute Performance Test
  • The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), typically 200 multiple-choice questions

Approximately 16,000 people take the bar exam each year.

California Bar Exam Fee & Other Cost

Description

Regular Fee

Registration as a Law Student

$119 (no late fee)

Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE)

$135

Application for Determination of Moral Character

$551

Live Scan Fingerprinting

Varies by vendor (total cost generally ranges from $54-$124)

Application to Take the California Bar Exam*

$677

Laptop Fee

$153

Bar Review Course and Other Study Resources

Varies by provider. Estimated expense from $1,400 to $3,500

Adaptibar MBE Program for Students Enrolled in Third-Year Bar Exam Workshop Course 

  • (reimbursable for students who meet specific completion requirements).

$330

Additional Expenses

  • Students should set aside funds for summer living expenses, travel, and perhaps hotel expenses during the exam.

Varies

Application Important Dates 2022

California Bar Exam Important deadlines

Application filings

October 1Exam application open
November 1Timely filing deadline
November 2–30$50 late filing fee
November 12Application opens for immediate repeaters
December 1–January 3$250 late filing fee
December 1Timely filing deadline for immediate repeaters
December 2–27$50 late filing fee for immediate repeaters
December 28–January 3$250 late filing fee for immediate repeaters
January 3– Final filing/reinstatement deadline – Testing accommodations petition final filing deadline* – Exam type change request deadline (Attorney applicants only)
February 1Appeal of testing accommodations petition final filing deadline
February 7Test center change request deadline
February 8– Final deadline to be fully vaccinated** – Final deadline to submit proof of eligibility to sit for the exam – Final deadline for attorney applicant to submit Certificate of Good Standing from another jurisdiction – Final deadline for general applicant to submit proof of law study
February 11Emergency testing accommodations petition final filing deadline*
February 17Deadline to sign COVID-19 Code of Conduct form
February 20Deadline to provide proof of a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19**
February 21Deadline to provide proof of a negative antigen test**

*Documents must be complete and received in the San Francisco Office of the State Bar, Office of Admissions 180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

Withdrawals

January 18Final deadline to withdraw from the exam for a full refund for all test takers, including immediate repeaters*
February 8Final deadline to withdraw from the exam for all test takers, including immediate repeaters

*Applicants who withdrew before this deadline will be contacted, and their additional fees will be refunded.

Exam preparation and exam day

January 25– Mock exam available

– First date admittance tickets available
February 15Exam files available for download
February 18– Deadline for exam takers to complete and upload to ExamSoft required mock exam

– Last day for exam takers to download exam files
February 24, 12:00 p.m.
(Pacific Time)
Laptop exam answer file upload deadline
February 25 or February 26, 12:00 p.m.
(Pacific Time)
Extended time testing accommodations exam answer file upload deadline. Deadline is dependent on student’s accommodations.

*Documents must be complete and received in the San Francisco Office of Admissions

California Bar Exam Dates – Schedule 2022

The next California Bar Exam is scheduled for February 22–23, 2022. The exam will be administered in person at testing centers.

DAY 1: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2022

Latest Time To Be Seated

Session Content

Total Time

8:20 a.m.

Essay Questions 1, 2, and 3

3:00

Lunch

1:30 p.m.

Essay Questions 4 and 5 Performance Test

3:30

DAY 2: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2022

8:20 a.m.

Multistate Bar Exam, Part 1 (100 Multiple Choice Questions)

3:00

Lunch

1:30 p.m.

Multistate Bar Exam, Part 2 (100 Multiple Choice Questions)

3:00

Applicants will be required to select a testing location when they apply in the Applicant Portal.

Scope of the California Bar Exam (Topics)

Format

The written portion of the exam (essay questions and Performance Test) is typically administered on the first day, with three essay questions given in the morning session and two essay questions plus the Performance Test given in the afternoon session. The MBE is typically administered on the second day, with 100 questions given in the morning and 100 questions given in the afternoon.

Topics

Applicants taking the California Bar Exam may be required to answer questions involving issues from all of the subjects listed below:

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

Uniform Commercial Code

The following provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code should be used where pertinent in answering the essay questions:

  • All of Article 1
  • All of Article 2
  • Those provisions of Article 9 concerning Fixtures

Business Associations

Applicants should be prepared to answer questions that have issues concerning a variety of Business Associations, including, but not limited to Corporations, Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships (General Partnerships, Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships), Joint Ventures, Limited Liability Companies, and the principles of Agency inherent in business relationships.

Civil Procedure

Applicants should be prepared to answer questions that have issues concerning the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the California Code of Civil Procedure. Applicants should be prepared to discuss the differences between the Federal Rules and the California Rules, especially those California procedures of pleading and practice that have no specific counterparts in the Federal Rules.

Evidence

Applicants should be prepared to answer questions that have issues concerning the Federal Rules of Evidence and the California Evidence Code. Applicants should be prepared to compare and contrast the differences between the Federal Rules and the California Evidence Code, especially where the California rules of evidence have no specific counterparts in the Federal Rules.

Professional Responsibility

Applicants should be prepared to answer questions that test knowledge of the California Rules of Professional Conduct, relevant sections of the California Business and Professions Code, and leading federal and state case law on the subject in addition to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility. Professional responsibility issues may be included in conjunction with any subject tested on the examination.

The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is a separate requirement for admission to practice law in California. More information concerning the MPRE can be found on the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ website.

Wills and Succession

Applicants should be familiar with the following provisions of the California Probate Code and understand California law in the specific areas noted:

Division 2. General Provisions

Part 1. Effect of Death of Married Person on Community and Quasi-Community Property, Sections 100-103

Part 3. Contractual Arrangements Relating to Rights at Death, Sections 140-147

Part 5. Simultaneous Death, Sections 220, 222-224

Part 6. Distribution Among Heirs or Beneficiaries, Section 240

Division 6 Wills and Intestate Succession 

Part 1. Wills

Chapter 1. General Provisions, Sections 6100, 6101, 6104, 6105
Chapter 2. Execution of Wills, Sections 6110-6113
Chapter 3. Revocation and Revival, Sections 6120, 6121, 6123

Part 2. Intestate Succession, Sections 6400-6402

Division 11. Construction of Wills, Trusts and Other Instruments

Part 1. Rules of Interpretation of Instruments, Sections 21105, 21109, 21110

Part 6. Family Protection: Omitted Spouses and Children [for decedents dying on or after January 1, 1998]

Chapter 2. Omitted Spouses, Sections 21610-21612

Chapter 3. Omitted Children, Sections 21620-21623

Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)

The MBE is developed and scored by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). This portion of the General Bar Examination is an objective six-hour examination containing 200 questions, divided into two, three-hour sessions during each of which 100 questions are administered. The MBE tests seven subjects: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts.

Laptops for the California Bar Exam

The California Bar Exam will be administered in person and can be taken on a laptop. Desktop computers are not allowed. It’s important to read and follow the State Bar’s instructions.

Laptops must meet the specifications outlined below. Applicants requiring special equipment due to medical reasons must submit a request through the testing accommodations petition process.

Before the exam

Here are the steps to prepare your laptop before the exam:

  1. Make sure your laptop meets the minimum requirements for ExamSoft.
  2. Install Examplify software and register with ExamSoft once you are issued an admittance ticket. All exam files will download automatically.
  3. Download and take the one mandatory mock exam starting January 25, 2022.
  4. Upload the mock exam answer files by February 18, 2022.

Install Examplify software

To ensure the security of the exam process, applicants are required to use Examplify software to take the California Bar Exam. The application provides a simple word processing program and is designed to be familiar to users of Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. It blocks access to non-Examplify files on an applicant’s laptop computer during the exam.

After you have received your admittance ticket and registration information from ExamSoft, you can register with ExamSoft and download and install Examplify onto the laptop computer you will be using for the exam.

Take the mock exam

The mock exam process is required. Taking the one mandatory mock exam confirms that your laptop computer is compatible with Examplify and provides you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with procedures for opening, using, and uploading answer files prior to the day of the exam. By typing a paragraph in each window, it also allows you to ensure that there are no typing/keyboard issues with your laptop.

One mandatory mock exam must be completed and the related exam answer files uploaded to complete the registration process and ensure that your laptop has been configured properly to use on exam day and to upload your exam answer files.

You will receive an email confirmation after you have uploaded your mock exam answer file. Until you receive this email confirmation, you are NOT registered.

Five additional copies of the mock exam are available if needed to help familiarize you with the Examplify application. Internet connectivity is required for downloading additional copies of the exam file and uploading exam answer files.

Complete laptop registration

The exam files will download automatically to complete your registration. You will receive confirmations on screen and an email confirmation from ExamSoft for each exam file you download. When you have received all three confirmations, your laptop is registered for the exam. Once you have completed the laptop registration process, do not make changes to the configuration of your laptop.

Rented laptop computers
If you rented a laptop to use during the exam, you should not return it to the rental company until results for the February 2022 Bar Exam have been released.

Any attempt to disable or tamper with Examplify’s security features is prohibited. If it is discovered that tampering has been attempted, this information will be reported to the Committee of Bar Examiners for whatever action it may deem appropriate, which could include disqualification for admission to practice law in California.

Bar Exam Testing Locations

Applicants must select a testing center when they apply to take the Bar Exam in the Applicant Portal.

Los Angeles Area

Laptop Users and Handwriters

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

Pasadena Convention Center 
300 East Green Street 
Pasadena, CA 91101 
Map

Testing Accommodations Only
Restricted to applicants with disabilities who have been granted accommodations.

Doubletree Hotel – Orange 
100 The City Drive 
Orange, CA 92868 
Map

Hilton Los Angeles Culver City 
6161 W Centinela Ave 
Culver City, CA, 90230 
Map

San Diego

Laptop Users 
Restricted to San Diego residents

Town & Country Resort 
500 Hotel Circle North 
San Diego, CA 92108
Map

Testing Accommodations Only 
Restricted to applicants with disabilities who have been granted accommodations

Sheraton Mission Valley 
1433 Camino Del Rio South
San Diego, CA 92108
Map

Bay Area

Laptop Users and Handwriters

Oakland Convention Center 
550 10th Street
Oakland, CA 94607 
Map

Testing Accommodations Only 
Restricted to applicants with disabilities who have been granted accommodations

Crowne Plaza San Francisco Airport Hotel
1177 Airport Boulevard 
Burlingame, CA 94010
Map

Sacramento

Laptop Users and Handwriters 

SAFE Credit Union Convention Center 
1400 J Street 
Sacramento, CA 95814 
Map

Testing Accommodations Only 
Restricted to applicants with disabilities who have been granted accommodations

Hilton Sacramento Arden West
2200 Harvard Street
Sacramento, CA 95815
Map

California Bar Exam Results 2022

Results from the February bar exam will be released electronically through the Applicant Portal to applicants after 6:00 p.m. on May 6, 2022. At 6:00 p.m. The State Bar is actively working on shortening the grading timeline so that applicants receive their results on an expedited schedule.

What is the pass rate for the California bar exam?

Today the State Bar released results of the July 2021 California Bar Exam and announced that 3,995 people (53.0 percent of applicants) passed the General Bar Exam. If those who passed satisfy all other requirements for admission, they will be eligible to be licensed by the State Bar to practice law in California.

When is the CA bar exam Scheduled ?

The next California Bar Exam is scheduled for February 22–23, 2022. The exam will be administered in person at these testing centers.

What is the cost of California Bar Exam ?

It would be $119 for California Bar Exam registration as a law student.

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