Bar Exam Information

In order to be admitted to practice law in California you must:

The full list of requirements and descriptions can be found on the State Bar of California Admission Requirements webpage.

Additional bar exam information, listed to the left, is provided to answer frequently asked questions associated with preparing for and taking the bar exam.

Bar Exam Preparation Strategy Meetings

The Office for Academic Success & Bar Programs is available to assist current USD law students with any and all questions relating to the bar exam, moral character application, MPRE, and general study strategies.  Graduating USD law students—be sure to book your 15 minute one-on-one appointment to discuss your own personal bar plan.  Email Academic Success & Bar Programs to request an appointment.

*LLM Students—Please contact the Office of Graduate and International Programs for more information about planning for a bar exam.*

Bar Certifications

The Office of the Law School Registrar prepares bar certifications for various purposes and various jurisdictions.  If you are considering taking a bar exam in a jurisdiction other than California, please be aware that you may be responsible for providing the Registrar’s Office with the documentation needed to certify you to sit for that bar exam.  The State Bar of California provides USD School of Law with this documentation directly after you apply to take the California bar exam.

Bar Exam Resources and Programming

The bar exam might seem far away, but your preparation starts now. In just a few steps each year, you can position yourself to successfully pass the bar exam when the time comes. Do it once, do it right – be One & Done!

1L/1P

  • Register as a law student with the State Bar of California (if you plan to take the California bar exam)
  • Make a budget and begin saving for your bar prep period
  • Attend the USD Meet the Bar Prep Companies program in fall

2L/2P

  • Add upper-level bar subjects to your course schedule
  • Attend the USD Intro to the Bar Exam program in fall
  •  Complete a one-on-one bar counseling session
  • Take passport photo for the MPRE
  • Take the MPRE (can also take in 3L fall)
  • Register for the Bar Exam (required before moral character application)
  • Get fingerprinted via LiveScan for moral character application (fingerprints will expire after 90 days)
  • Submit your moral character application(can also submit in 3L fall; start early if you have concerns)
  • Continue saving money for your bar prep period

3L/4P

  • Attend the USD Bar Prep Kickoff program in fall
  • Complete a one-on-one bar counseling session
  • Take the MPRE in fall (if you have not already)
  • Register for the Bar Exam (required before moral character application)
  • Get fingerprinted via LiveScan for moral character application
  • Submit your moral character application in fall
  • Enroll in USD’s Multistate Bar Exam Review in spring
  • Enroll in USD’s Fundamentals of Bar Exam Writing in spring
  • Attend the USD Bar Prep Boot Camp in spring
  • Continue saving money for your bar prep period
  • Attend loan repayment and debt management seminar

Post-Grad Summer

  • Complete your commercial bar exam prep course (power through it all, don’t let yourself give up!)
  • Attend the USD Bar Exam Simulation
  • Attend the USD Bar Exam Check-In Lunch

Optional Resources & Discounts

  • BarEssays.com access, Kaplan MBE Course, Adaptibar, Summer Performance Test Workshop, BarGraders.com, Critical Pass Flashcards

(See Academic Success & Bar Programs for more details)

one and done logo

Contact:

Academic Success and Bar Programs
Warren Hall, Room 206
Phone: (619) 260-4793
Fax: (619) 260-7715

Hours

M-F: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

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