California Bar Exam for Indian Lawyers

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California Bar Exam for Indian Lawyers

California Bar Exam for Indian Lawyers: Law is one of the most competitive career options in California and one of the most difficult exams to clear for most foreign-trained lawyers. California is one of the best options for foreign-trained lawyers who want to practice law. An Indian Lawyer with a license to practice in India can give the California Bar Exam in the United States of America. 

The California Bar Exam is responsible for managing the admission of lawyers to practice law, investigating complaints of professional misconduct, prescribing appropriate discipline, and accepting attorney-member fees. The exam happens twice each year in February and July. The exam is one of the most difficult exams in the United States of America. The California Bar Exam is conducted in two days.

In the below-mentioned article, the candidates will get the complete information about the California Bar Exam for Indian Lawyers such as, What is California Bar Exam?, Eligibility Criteria, Syllabus, Exam Pattern, Career options after passing the exam, top 10 Legal career and exam results.

Particulars 2-day exam
Exam Name California Bar Exam
Exam Type 2 day exam
Exam Fees $677 (INR 55,345.09)
Attorney exam fee: $983 (INR 80,360.74)
Official Website

What is Bar Exam? 

The California Bar exam is the final exam to become a lawyer. The candidates who want to become lawyers in California have to clear the exam. The exam consists of 200 MCQs which are related to various national areas of law such as criminal law, torts, civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, and more. 

The exam also includes 5 one-hour essays and a 90-minute performance test, covering other topics in the law, such as Trusts and Wills, and skills, such as writing and argumentation. California Bar Exam for Indian lawyers helps law practitioners from India to practice law in California effectively with their set of rules and guidelines. 

Also Read: Indian Lawyers Preparing for New York Bar Exam

California Bar Exam for Indian Lawyers: Important Dates

The official authorities have released the exam date for the second round on their official website. Candidates who are interested in appearing for the exam must check the exam dates on the website. Below mentioned are the important dates regarding the exam:

Particulars Application Date Timely filing date Final Filing Date Exam Dates
Jun 2023 FYLSX 1 March 2023 3 April 2023 15 May 2023 27 June 2023
July 2023 CBX 1 March 2023 3 April 2023 1 June 2023 25 to 26 July 2023

California Bar Exam for Indian Lawyers: Eligibility Criteria

If the candidate is a qualified lawyer in their home country then they can sit for the California Bar Exam. If the candidates have a law degree but it is not licensed then also they have to sit for the bar exam and if the candidate has completed their LL.M. with at least 20 credits at an ABA or California-accredited school are eligible for this exam. As a part of the 20 credits, the candidate must take a professional responsibility class that covers the ABA Model Rules of professional conduct, and leading federal and state case law on the subject. The student must have taken at least 3 classes in subjects that appear on the bar exam.

Course Syllabus

The Indian students who want to make their career as a lawyer and are going to give the California Bar Exam must know the entire syllabus of the exam. The syllabus of the California Bar Exam will give an idea of the topics that are required to be covered while preparing. The syllabus of the exam is mentioned below:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Remedies
  • Trusts
  • Business Associations
  • Community Property
  • Contracts
  • Evidence
  • Real Property
  • Torts
  • Wills and Succession

Civil Procedure

This law is related to how the cases get into the court and how they work through trials and appeals. The candidates need to be civilised in both federal and Californian laws surrounding the civil procedure and be able to talk about the differences between them.

Constitutional Law

In this, the candidates will have knowledge about the U.S. Constitution and how it is executed and applied to real-world situations.

Criminal Law and Procedure

It covers all the details of criminal law and procedure plea deals to trial to appeal. The student has to understand the implications of charges and police conduct, and how it may affect admission of evidence, criminal convictions and release, and sentencing.

Professional Responsibility

The California Rules of Professional Conduct and federal and state case law surrounding them are tested on a large scale on the California Bar Exam.


Tort, Contract and other legal areas allow the person who has been mistreated, a chance to get a remedy through the judicial process and the remedies are tested on the California Bar Exam. The tested remedies include injunctions, compensatory damages, restitution, and punitive damages.

Business Associations

The lawyers must prepare to give answers about the issues regarding the Business Associations, including Corporations, Partnerships (General Partnerships, Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships), Joint Ventures, Sole Proprietorships Limited Liability Companies, and the principles of Agency.

Community Property

California is one of the several states that stick to community property law which means the property is either owned by one of a married couple or will be shared by both partners. Indian lawyers need to understand the complex rules for determining ownership and distribution in the event of the dissolution of a marriage.


Any kind of contract needs to be created and performed and in some cases, the breach may lead to legal action. The lawyer must be familiar with the laws governing the interpretation of both the companies as well as personal contracts and how to impose them if something happens.


The candidates must know the difference between federal and state laws surrounding the discovery and use of evidence and the lawyer must be ready to talk about when California rules of evidence don’t match up with the federal rules.

Real Property

Real property comprises people’s right to interests in land or real property and tangible personal property which also includes leases, mortgages, easements, liens, and foreclosure processes. 


In torts, it includes carelessness and other types of private harm, such as animal attacks, auto accidents, nuisances etc. The lawyers will need to know both California and national principals.

Wills and Succession and Trust

Division 6 Wills and Intestate Succession 

Part 1. Will

Chapter 1. General Provisions, Sections 6100, 6101, 6104, 6105
Chapter 2. Execution of Wills, Sections 6110-6113
Chapter 3. Revocation and Revival, Sections 6120, 6121, 6123

Part 2. Intestate Succession, Sections 6400-6402

Division 11. Construction of Wills, Trusts and Other Instruments

Part 1. Rules of Interpretation of Instruments, Sections 21105, 21109, 21110

Part 6. Family Protection: Omitted Spouses and Children [for decedents dying on or after January 1, 1998]

Chapter 2. Omitted Spouses, Sections 21610-21612

Chapter 3. Omitted Children, Sections 21620-2162

Also Read: Best Law Colleges in World

California Exam Bar Exam Pattern

The California Exam Bar is a two days exam. On the first day, there is a written test which consists of three essay questions in the morning session and two essay questions and the  performance test in the afternoon session. On the second day, candidates complete the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), which consists of 200 multiple-choice questions split into two three-hour sessions, with 100 questions given per session. 

Essay Questions

This section consists of five essay questions designed to evaluate the ability to analyze legal issues arising from fact scenarios or patterns.

Performance Test

The performance test is 90 minutes in duration. This test is designed to evaluate the candidate’s ability to handle a number of legal authorities in the context of a factual problem involving a client.

Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)

The MBE exam is conducted by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). The exam consists of 200 MCQs which will be conducted in two to three sessions for a total of six hours. The candidates will be tested on 7 subjects which are:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Real Property
  • Civil Procedure
  • Contracts
  • Evidence
  • Torts

Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE)

To practice law in California the candidate must not only pass the California Bar Examination they have to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). The test is 60 items (scored questions and 10 non-scored pretest questions) and is a two-hour MCQ test which is developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). The exam is conducted three times a year.

After the registration is complete, applicants can choose to take the MPRE anytime after completing their first year of law school. For this, they can register with the State Bar.

How to Apply?

The Indian Lawyers who want to give California Bar Exam have to fill out the application form for the examination. Below mentioned are the steps to fill out the application form: 

  • Visit the official website of the California Bar Exam.
  • Login to the Applicant Portal.
  • Click on the menu option.
  • Then click on ‘View Forms’.
  • Then under the ‘Examinations’ menu, select the ‘California Bar Examination Application.’ 
  • To begin the application process, click ‘Launch Application.’
  • Fill in all the required details.
  • Then click on the verification tickbox and click on the submit button.
  • Then the declaration form will appear on the screen.
  • After signing the declaration form make the payment. 
  • Then you will receive the confirmation mail once the application form has been submitted.

Career Options after Passing the California Bar Exam for Indian Lawyers

The candidates who are appearing for the California Bar exams have various career options after clearing the examination which are as follows:

  • The candidates can find employment at In House Counsel with a corporation as an attorney for the company.
  • After passing the exam the candidates can work as an Arbitrator or Mediator in every state.
  • Candidates can choose to become Law school professors, University or College professors for Law, Paralegal Programs or Criminal Justice.

The legal profession is one of the highest-paying jobs in California, therefore, the legal profession attracts a lot of people in California as well as in the USA. Below mentioned are the top 10 legal careers for Indian Lawyers:

  • General Counsels
  • Mediators, Arbitrators or Conciliators
  • Litigation Support Roles
  • Legal Specialist Roles
  • International Organizations
  • Litigation and Trial Lawyers
  • Academia
  • Judge
  • Law Firm Consultant/ Legal Recruiter
  • Law Firm Administration

Exam Results

The results of the California Bar exam are released about 12 to 14 weeks after the February exam and 16 to 18 weeks after the July exam. Candidates can check the results through the Applicant Portal.


Q1- What subjects are tested on the California Bar Exam?

The subjects tested on the California Bar exam are Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, CA Professional Responsibility, Agency, CA Civil Procedure, Partnership, CA Community Property, Corporations, CA Wills & Succession, CA Evidence, Contracts, Remedies, Trusts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Constitutional Law, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts.

Q2- When will the California Bar Exam results release?

Results are released about 12-14 weeks after the February exam and 16-18 weeks after the July exam.

Q3- How many times anyone can take the bar exam in California?

There is no limit to the number of times that a person is able to sit for the bar exam.

For more such updates about California Bar Exams for Indian lawyers and related topics, keep an eye on  Leverage Edu, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter for up-to-date information. If you are planning to study in the USA then get in touch with us at 1800-572-130.

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