Bar Exam in California


Hi!

I am a lawyer from Lima Peru (legal system based on civil law) and I recently learned that in some US states It is not necessary to have a JD degree to take the bar exam. I would like to know if this is true and what are the requirements for lawyers with a foreign law degree to take the California bar exam.

Thanks :)
Hi!

I am a lawyer from Lima Peru (legal system based on civil law) and I recently learned that in some US states It is not necessary to have a JD degree to take the bar exam. I would like to know if this is true and what are the requirements for lawyers with a foreign law degree to take the California bar exam.

Thanks :)
quote
chicken so...
You do not specifically need a JD degree to take the California Bar Exam. Non-US educated students however will need to prove that their law degree is substantially similar to a JD from an ABA-accredited law school.

Beyond that, I also believe that you'll need to complete some additional course hours through an LLM or another program.

More info here:

https://llm-guide.com/articles/using-the-llm-to-take-the-american-bar-exam
You do not specifically need a JD degree to take the California Bar Exam. Non-US educated students however will need to prove that their law degree is substantially similar to a JD from an ABA-accredited law school.

Beyond that, I also believe that you'll need to complete some additional course hours through an LLM or another program.

More info here:

https://llm-guide.com/articles/using-the-llm-to-take-the-american-bar-exam
quote
Hi Peruvianlawyer25!

That's correct! You are eligible to take the California Bar Exam if you are a qualified lawyer in your home country. You only need to provide a certificate of good standing from your local bar association and the CA Bar will likely to confirm your eligibility!

You do not need to complete any studies in the US or prove that your law degree is similar to a JD in the US. As long as you are a qualified attorney in good standing in Peru, you should be good to go!

For more information, visit http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Admissions/Requirements/Education/Legal-Education/Foreign-Education
Hi Peruvianlawyer25!

That's correct! You are eligible to take the California Bar Exam if you are a qualified lawyer in your home country. You only need to provide a certificate of good standing from your local bar association and the CA Bar will likely to confirm your eligibility!

You do not need to complete any studies in the US or prove that your law degree is similar to a JD in the US. As long as you are a qualified attorney in good standing in Peru, you should be good to go!

For more information, visit http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Admissions/Requirements/Education/Legal-Education/Foreign-Education

quote
Clark 804
It's actually a bit more complicated than that:

http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Admissions/Requirements/Education/Legal-Education/Foreign-Education/Foreign-Law-Degree

... Beyond the first degree in law:

They must also submit a certificate from a law school approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) or accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners certifying that the applicant has either:

A. Been awarded a Master of Law degree (LL.M) based on a minimum of 20 semester or equivalent units of legal education that included a minimum of one course in four separate subjects tested on the California Bar Examination of not less than a total of 12 semester or equivalent units.
One of the four courses must be Professional Responsibility that covers the California Rules of Professional Conduct, relevant sections of the California Business and Professions Code, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and leading federal and state case law on the subject or

B Successfully completed 20 semester or equivalent units of legal education that included a minimum of one course in four separate subjects tested on the California Bar Exam of not less than a total of 12 semester or equivalent units. One of the four courses must be Professional Responsibility that covers the California Rules of Professional Conduct, relevant sections of the California Business and Professions Code, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and leading federal and state case law on the subject.

In particular the requirements covering California Rules of Professional Conduct would be unlikely to have been covered in a foreign law degree program.
It's actually a bit more complicated than that:

http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Admissions/Requirements/Education/Legal-Education/Foreign-Education/Foreign-Law-Degree

... Beyond the first degree in law:

[quote]They must also submit a certificate from a law school approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) or accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners certifying that the applicant has either:

A. Been awarded a Master of Law degree (LL.M) based on a minimum of 20 semester or equivalent units of legal education that included a minimum of one course in four separate subjects tested on the California Bar Examination of not less than a total of 12 semester or equivalent units.
One of the four courses must be Professional Responsibility that covers the California Rules of Professional Conduct, relevant sections of the California Business and Professions Code, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and leading federal and state case law on the subject or

B Successfully completed 20 semester or equivalent units of legal education that included a minimum of one course in four separate subjects tested on the California Bar Exam of not less than a total of 12 semester or equivalent units. One of the four courses must be Professional Responsibility that covers the California Rules of Professional Conduct, relevant sections of the California Business and Professions Code, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and leading federal and state case law on the subject.[/quote]
In particular the requirements covering California Rules of Professional Conduct would be unlikely to have been covered in a foreign law degree program.
quote

Reply to Post

Related Articles

How an LL.M. Can Help you Pass US Bar Exams

Oct 18, 2019

Some law schools offer support for overseas lawyers who want to practice in America, but bar exam requirements and pass rates vary wildly between states

Using the LL.M. to Take the American Bar Exam

Sep 19, 2016

Foreign-trained lawyers can use LL.M.s to gain bar eligibility in several US states, but should beware that eligibility requirements are continuously evolving.

More Articles