The State Bar of California suggests that students who intend to sit for the California Bar Examination file their registrations to take the Bar Exam before they file their Application for Determination of Moral Character.
The Registration Application is not the same as the application to take the California Bar Exam. Once you register as a student, make sure you make a note of your registration number: you will use it on all subsequent applications and correspondence with the State Bar.
If you plan on taking a commercial Bar review course, such as BARBRI, consider signing up for the course during your first year if you are concerned about price increases in the following years.
Your required first-year courses will provide coverage for 6 of the 12 Bar Exam subjects: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Real Property, and Torts. Make sure you pay attention in these classes, as their subjects will be tested twice--in the MBE and the Bar Exam.
During your second or third year, you are required to enroll in Professional Responsibility and this course will help you prepare for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). You are eligible to take the MPRE any time during your second or third year. Details about the MPRE may be found under the third tab of this Guide, titled About the MPRE.
You should also plan your second and third year course schedules with an eye toward what subjects are covered on the Bar Exam: Elective courses offered at the law school that cover topics tested on the Bar Exam include:
In January of your third year of law school, make sure to submit your Moral Character Application. The review process takes approximately 6-9 months for the CA Bar to verify all information provided. You will not be admitted to the Bar until it has approved your Moral Character Application. Your Moral Character Application will require information to be provided dating as far back as high school. Some of the information that will be asked of you includes:
An additional requirement for California Bar Exam applicants is the submittal of their fingerprints through Live Scan. Your Moral Character Application will not be considered complete without the appropriately processed fingerprints.
An additional requirement for MPRE examinees is the presentation of a passport-type photograph on the day of the exam, along with government-issued identification. UCLA Law students will receive information about fingerprinting and photo services available at the law school from the Office of Student Services.
Make sure you submit your application to take the Bar Exam as soon as possible after the application becomes available. Doing so will help ensure that you get the testing site of your choice.
If you are a student with a disability in need of testing accommodations for the Bar Exam, plan to make arrangements for testing accommodations well in advance of the examination date (ideally at the beginning of your third year). You should plan on filing a petition for accommodations no later than at the time you file your application to take an examination.
Applying to Take Non-California State Bar Exams
Because each state has its own requirements for admission to the Bar, you should investigate the rules for each state in which you think you are likely to seek admission to the Bar. The ABA's Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements (also linked in the reference list to the left) provides information about each state's bar exam. A Directory of State Bar Admission Agencies is provided at the end of the aforementioned Guide.
Second or Third Years
The Months Leading Up To the Bar Exam
The Week of the Exam