As a result of COVID-19, the State Bar of California and other jurisdictions have had to make changes to their rules, policies, and procedures.
Please review the State Bar of California website or consult the applicable agency for the latest updates. Professor Susan Bakhshian, Director of Bar Programs, will also send emails to Juris Doctor students regarding the California State Bar Exam. LL.M. students will receive updates from Professor Aaron Ghiradelli. Check your email inbox regularly.
This checklist is intended to serve as a summary and is accurate for most students. In some cases, exceptions or special circumstances may apply. Your definitive source is the State Bar of California website.
- Register as a First Year/ASAP. Register online with the State Bar.
- Take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). The MPRE is given three times a year, in March, August, and November. Take the MPRE after completion of Ethical Lawyering. MPRE dates, deadlines, fees and registration forms are available through the National Council of Bar Examiners. Learn more from the State Bar.
- Complete the Moral Character Determination Application. Start the time-consuming application at least a year before the Bar Exam. If you have concerns about any of the Moral Character Determination Guidelines, reach out to the Office of Student Affairs as soon as possible; do not wait until your last year. It can take nine months or longer to have a determination made, so submit the applilication by May for a February Bar Exam and December for a July Bar Exam.
- Provide fingerprints for Moral Character Application. Applicants who reside in California must submit fingerprints via Live Scan technology to be processed by both the California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Students are encouraged to provide fingerprints by their second to last semester. See the State Bar of California Instructions to learn more about fingerprinting.
- Register for the California Bar Exam. Register in October/November for the February Bar and March/April for the July Bar. See the State Bar of California website for upcoming dates and deadlines.
- File a petition early if requesting testing accommodations. Learn more about the process from the State Bar of California website.
- Graduate from Loyola Law School with a Juris Doctor. Once you submit the application to take the California State Bar Examination, the California Bar will send a certification form to the Loyola Law School Office of the Registrar. The Registrar's Office will verify your graduation date and degree and submit an official transcript to the California Bar.
- Apply online if using a laptop to take the Bar Exam. Read and comply with the instructions as outlined by the State Bar of California. See more below.
- Take the Bar Exam.
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If you plan to use a laptop computer to take the California Bar Exam, you must follow the State Bar’s instructions. Only laptops will be allowed into the exam room, and they must meet the specifications as outline on the State Bar of California website. If you require special equipment due to a disability, you must request permission to use such equipment through the testing accommodations petition process. If your laptop computer is not ready to begin at the designated time, for whatever reason, you must begin the examination by handwriting. No extra time will be provided to ensure that a laptop computer is ready for use before the exam session begins. Technical assistance will not be available.
The Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) portion of the exam also is not available electronically. Do not bring your laptop computer to the MBE sessions of the exam
The results for the February California State Bar Examination are usually released at the end of May and the Swearing-In Ceremony usually takes place the first week of June on the Loyola Law School campus.The results for the July California State Bar Examination are usually released in late November and the Swearing-In Ceremony usually takes place on the Loyola Law School campus the first week of December. All Loyola Law School students who pass the California State Bar Examination will be sent an invitation to participate in the Swearing-In Ceremony.
Pass rates for the past California Bar Examination are available on the State Bar of California website.
The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) publishes an annual Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements. Since jurisdiction rules and policies change, NCBE strongly advises consulting the jurisdiction's bar admission agency directly for the most current information. Note that many jurisdictions are making emergency changes to rules, policies, and exam administrations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Note that study at, or graduation from, Loyola Law School may not qualify a student to take the bar examination or be admitted to practice law in jurisdictions other than California. A student who intends to seek admissions to practice outside of California should contact the admitting authority in that jurisdiction for information regarding its education and admission requirements.
Each state has different eligibility rules and application guidelines for foreign educated students. Carefully review the rules of the state where you intend to sit for the bar exam. Below are links to the rules for the California and New York bar exam.
California Bar Rules for Foreign Education
Review the application procedures as early as possible. For example, New York requires foreign educated students to submit transcripts of their first law degrees in advance, a process that may take time.
LL.M. students can take advantage of Loyola Law School's bar preparation workshops, the Essentials of Bar Writing for Foreign Students course, and the Private Bar Tutoring Program. Please contact Professor Aaron Ghiradelli or Professor Elizabeth Belser.