Bar Exam Information: 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

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 takes a minimum of six months and up to a year or more in some circumstances. There is no official deadline, but you are strongly encouraged to submit your application during Fall 3L. You must disclose prior residences, employment, references, criminal and academic sanctions, indebtedness and more.

Note: Scholastic discipline and criminal history are part of the moral character determination, as is your record while at UC Davis. If you failed to disclose scholastic discipline or a misdemeanor or felony during the admission process to Davis, contact the Dean for Student Affairs 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 exam is administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.  More information is available at