California Attorney Exam: California’s Modified Bar Exam

California does not accept transferred scores or admissions on motion. However, California enables attorneys already admitted in another state to take the modified California bar exam otherwise known as the California attorney exam. The California attorney exam is only allowed to be taken by attorneys admitted in other states and have been practicing for a minimum of four years. The California Attorney Exam also requires such attorneys to be in good standing, have passed the MPRE with at least and 86, and in active status in their home jurisdictions. Attorneys can opt to take the general California bar exam if they meet the aforementioned criteria and do not wish to take the California attorney exam. The California attorney exam is a one day exam that only involves the written portion of the general California bar exam. The California attorney exam includes the following:

Day 1

  • Morning session:
    • 3 one-hour essay questions
  • Afternoon session:
    • 2 one-hour essay questions
    • 1 90-minute MPT

Additional Requirements

The California Attorneys’ Exam also has additional requirements:

  • Applicants must complete the online Registration.
  • Must pay all fees and complete character and fitness with the California Committee of Bar Examiners
  • Transfer their MPRE scores
  • Show evidence of good standing through a certificate

The California attorney exam is offered at the same times as the general California bar exam. That being, the last Tuesday of February and of July each year.  Applications are generally available the first day of October and the first day of November respectively for the February and July exams. For additional information check out California’s Schedule of Charges and Deadlines so that you are certain not to miss your filing date or failure to pay certain fees that would jeopardize your ability to take the exam.