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California Bar Exam

California Bar Exam

The California Bar Exam is a test that individuals must pass in order to become licensed to practise law in the state of California. The exam is administered by the State Bar of California and consists of both a written portion and a multiple-choice portion.

The California bar exam is a two-day exam administered twice a year. On the first day, the writing portion is given out, and it typically consists of three essay questions (3 hours) in the morning and two essay questions plus the performance test in the afternoon (3.5 hours), covering Californian law and procedure in the following subjects:

  1. Business Associations
  2. Civil Procedure
  3. Community Property
  4. Constitutional Law
  5. Contracts
  6. Criminal Law and Procedure
  7. Evidence
  8. Professional Responsibility
  9. Real Property
  10. Remedies
  11. Torts
  12. Trusts
  13. Wills and Succession

The next day, candidates take the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), which consists of 200 multiple-choice questions split into two 3-hour sessions, with 100 questions given per session, covering the following topics:

  1. Civil procedure
  2. Constitutional law
  3. Contracts
  4. Criminal law & procedure
  5. Evidence
  6. Real property
  7. Torts

Currently, the State Bar of California has not fully adopt the California Bar Exam (UBE) which consists of the MBE, MEE (Multistate Essay Exam) and MPT (Multistate Performance Test). Only the MBE has been adopted as part of the California Bar Exam.

The California Bar Exam is considered to be one of the most difficult bar exams in the United States, with a pass rate of around 50%. A minimum scaled score of 1390 out of 2000 is required to pass. Both the writing portion and MBE are equally weighted.

In addition, candidates must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). The MPRE is a two-hour, 60-question multiple-choice test that is offered three times a year at various test centres across the United States. It covers a range of topics related to professional responsibility, including conflicts of interest, client confidentiality, and the lawyer-client relationship. The exam is designed to test a candidate's ability to apply the rules of professional conduct in various scenarios that are likely to arise in the practice of law.

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