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Requirements to Practice Law in California

In Order to be Admitted to Practice Law in California You Must:

  • File a registration application and be permitted to register as a law student. This is normally done within the first 90 days of your 1L year.
  • File an application, take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), and achieve a scaled score of 86.00 or greater, which examination is administered and graded by the National Conference of Bar Examiners;
  • File an application for moral character determination and receive a positive moral character determination from the Committee of Bar Examiners;
  • Complete the required legal education.
  • File an application, take and pass the California Bar Examination;
  • Comply with California court-ordered child or family support obligations.

Registration for the California Bar Exam

You can register for the California Bar Exam online at the State Bar of California's website at For those taking the July 2010 bar exam, registration for the exam is not yet open, but will be open on March 1st, 2010.

Application for Moral Character Determination

You can submit your application for Moral Character Determination online at the State Bar of California's website at The determination process can take as long as six to nine months. YOU WANT TO SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Students are encouraged to use Thanksgiving break as an opportunity to gather the information you will need to complete the application. This will include, residence addresses since you turned 18, employers, character witness names, addresses and phone numbers, etc.

Note: Criminal history is part of the moral character determination, as is your record while at UC Davis. If you failed to disclose a misdemeanor or felony during the admission process to Davis, contact Dean Kulwin immediately at 530-752-0243 to set up an appointment to discuss your options.

Registration and Administration of the MPRE

The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is a sixty question, two-hour and five minute, multiple-choice examination administered three times each year. The next administration is November 7th, 2009 and there is one on March 6th, 2010. The exam is administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners through their agent Act, Inc. More information is available at