First-Year Law Students' Examination Instructions


Examination Date and Time

The First-Year Law Students' Examination is administered in Los Angeles and San Francisco in June and October each year. An Application to take the First-Year Law Students' Examination must be filed in accordance with the specified deadlines.

The June 2014 First-Year Law Students' Examination will be administered on June 24, 2014.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Exemption

According to Title 4, Division 1, Chapter 5, Rule 4.55 of the Rules of the State Bar of California (Admission Rules):

A general applicant intending to seek admission to practice law in California must take the First-Year Law Students' Examination unless the applicant

  1. has satisfactorily completed
    1. at least two years of college work as defined by these rules; and (2) the first-year course of instruction
      1. (a) at a law school that was approved by the American Bar Association or accredited by the Committee when the study was begun or completed; and
      2. (b) the law school has advanced the person, whether or not on probation, to the second-year of Instruction; or
      3. (c) is exempt by reason of study in a foreign law school as provided by these rules

A general applicant shall be deemed to have satisfactorily completed the first-year course of instruction in an accredited or approved law school when the applicant is advanced to the second-year course of instruction at the same accredited law school, whether or not on probation.

Exempt applicants who do not pass the examination
An exempt applicant who unsuccessfully takes the examination shall not be subject to any of the sanctions, requirements, or law study credit limitations which are otherwise imposed by Rule 4.57 of the Admissions Rules on unsuccessful non-exempt applicants.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Examination Schedule

The First-Year Law Students' Examination is a one day examination. The morning session will be a maximum of four hours in duration, and the afternoon session will be a maximum of three hours. Four (4) essay questions will be presented during the morning session and 100 multiple-choice questions during the afternoon session. There is a lunch break between sessions.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Scope of the First-Year Law Students' Examination

The subjects covered in this examination are: Contracts, Criminal Law, and Torts. An answer based upon legal theories and principles of general applicability is sufficient; detailed knowledge of California Law is not required. The following provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code should be used where pertinent:

  1. All of Article 1;
  2. All of Article 2.

[ top ]  [ close ]
Registration as a Law Student

Any person submitting an Application to take the First-Year Law Students' Examination must have registered as a law student with the Committee of Bar Examiners (Committee) prior to submitting the application in compliance with Section 6060 of the Business and Professions Code and Chapter 2, Rule 4.16(B) of the Admissions Rules. An application for the First-Year Law Students' Examination will be considered incomplete if the applicant has not previously registered. If an applicant has not done so, a separate "Registration" application must be completed and filed with the appropriate registration fee and late fee. Registration is only available online at http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov.

As a convenience to applicants not yet registered, the Office of Admissions will receive for processing applications for the First-Year Law Students' Examination when such applications are submitted simultaneously with the registration application. However, if the applicant's registration is not approved within 10 days following the submittal of their examination application or prior to the final filing deadline, their application will be terminated and a refund of the application fees will be processed. Keep in mind that if an applicant does not have a bachelor's degree or transcripts of undergraduate study, a pre-legal education certification submitted by the law school must be received before the registration can be approved. If the application is terminated and the applicant decides to register and reapply after the application has been terminated, he/she will be subject to any applicable deadlines and late fees.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Foreign Educated Applicants

Foreign educated applicants must contact the Office of Admissions regarding eligibility.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Eligibility

Note: Foreign educated applicants must contact the Office of Admissions regarding eligibility.

An applicant is eligible to take the First-Year Law Students' Examination upon successful completion of one year of law study in any of the following manners:

  1. In a law school that is authorized by the State of California to confer professional degrees; is registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners; and which requires classroom attendance of its students for a minimum of 270 hours a year; or
  2. In a law office in the state of California and under the personal supervision of an attorney who has been an active member of the State Bar of California for at least five years; or
  3. In the chambers and under the personal supervision of a judge of a court of record of this state; or
  4. In a correspondence law school registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners that requires no less than 864 hours of preparation and study per year; or
  5. By any combination of the methods referred to in this subsection

[ top ]  [ close ]
Proof of Law Study

After the application has been filed, a bar-coded Law School Certification form will be sent to all law schools attended by the applicant. Law schools must certify the applicant's completion of one year of law study in compliance with Chapter 3, Rule 4.26 of the Admission Rules and return the form to the Los Angeles Office of Admissions on or before the deadline.

The school must submit a certified law school transcript with the certification. If an applicant's law school requires that the applicant personally request transcripts and/or pay a transcript fee, the applicant will need to fulfill the requirements for the release of the required transcripts.

If the required certification is not provided in a timely manner, the processing of the application and issuance of the applicant's admittance ticket will be delayed. If the school fails to provide such certification, the applicant will be notified 10 business days prior to the final eligibility deadline. Applicants will have until the final eligibility deadline to submit certifications/transcripts. If these eligibility documents are not received by the final eligibility deadline, the application will be abandoned and no refund will be made.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Law Study Credit

In accordance with Section 6060 (h) (1) of the California Business and Professions Code, applicants who pass the examination within three consecutive administrations of first becoming eligible to take the examination shall receive credit for all law study completed to the date of the administration of the examination passed. An applicant who does not pass the examination within three consecutive administrations of first becoming eligible to take the examination but who subsequently passes the examination shall receive credit for his or her first year of law study only.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Ineligible Applicants

Applicants for an examination who are found not to have completed the requisite legal education will be deemed ineligible. Such applicants are entitled to 60% refund of all qualifying fees paid in connection with the examination. No refund will be processed unless academic deficiency is substantiated by certified law school transcripts, and such transcripts indicating all law study completed are received in the Los Angeles Office of Admissions by the final eligibility deadline.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Laptop Computers

Go to the State Bar's website at http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov for more information about the laptop computer program and click on the First-Year Law Students' Examination Laptop Certification Bulletin.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Testing Accommodations for Applicants with Disabilities

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to make arrangements for testing accommodations well in advance of an examination, such as the beginning of their last year of law school, and should file a petition no later than three months prior to the examination they intend to take. Initial processing of a petition generally takes a minimum of 60 days and processing of petitions requiring review by outside consultants retained by the Committee or those requiring applicants to submit additional documentation may take longer. In order to ensure that processing is completed timely and that applicants are able to avail themselves of all administrative remedies, early filing is strongly encouraged.

All first-time petitions, requests for expanded accommodations and petitions filed by applicants with temporary disabilities must be: 1) filed separately from the examination application; 2) on the Committee's forms; and, 3) include all necessary documentation and attachments. Petitions for testing accommodations based on disabilities existing prior to the final application filing deadline must be received by the State Bar's Office of Admissions in San Francisco no later than the final testing accommodations petition filing deadline. Petitions without the required forms and documentation will not be considered complete and will not be processed until brought to a complete status. The deadline will not be extended for any reason. Petitions for acceptance of a testing accommodations petition on an emergency basis, which must be based on an injury that was acquired after the final application filing deadline, must include all required testing accommodation petition forms and documentation and be received in the San Francisco Office of Admissions no later than 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, at least ten business days before the first day of the examination. The fact that an applicant was unable to get an appointment with his/her specialist before the final filing deadline is not grounds for consideration as an emergency petition.

Petitions may be filed prior to filing an application for the examination; however, the applicant must be registered with the Committee, or the petition will not be processed. If an applicant elects to file a petition close to the final filing deadline, it is possible that a determination regarding his/her request will not be received until after the deadline for filing an appeal in connection with administration of the current examination. Any appeal that is filed after the final deadline to appeal a testing accommodation determination would be considered in connection with a future administration of the examination.

Testing accommodations are available to individuals with mental or physical disabilities as defined in Chapter 7 of the Admissions Rules. Depending on the nature of the disability, accommodations may include such things as assistants (i.e., readers or personal healthcare assistants), wheelchair access, permission to dictate to a typist or tape recorder, customized timing, separate testing room, customized examination materials (i.e., Braille, large print, etc.), extended testing days and permission to bring and use specific items or medical aids. When completing the required forms, the applicant and his/her physician/specialist should request what they think is necessary to allow the applicant to compete on an equal basis with all other applicants and must provide adequate documentation and rationale to support the diagnosis and their request for accommodations.

The Committee's policies, procedures and forms related to filing a petition for testing accommodations are available online at http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Requirements/Forms.aspx or upon request.

Petitions for testing accommodations must be sent to the Office of Admissions in San Francisco. Applicants with disabilities requesting to use a computer must pay the applicable fee. If, however, an applicant's disability directly relates to use of a computer, a request for a refund of the fee paid may be filed with the Testing Accommodations department in San Francisco. The request for a refund must be accompanied by the appropriate documentation. The applicant will be notified within four weeks following receipt of the request as to whether a refund will be granted.

An appeal of a denial or modification of an accommodation for the examination must be received in the San Francisco Office of Admissions by the first business day of the month in which the examination is to be administered, to be considered in connection with the examination. The deadline will not be extended.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Returned Checks/Credit Card Disputes

Stopping payment on a check, dishonoring a check or disputing a credit card charge does not constitute withdrawing from an examination. Applicants who do so will be required to return the fees and pay any additional fees required with a money order or cashier's check prior to being allowed to take any future examination. A charge of $20.00 will be accessed when checks are not negotiated and are subsequently returned. Any late filing fee in effect at the time the check is covered will also be required. Applications will be considered abandoned if the full payment has not been received by the final filing deadline and no fees will be refunded.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Withdrawals/Absences/Ineligibles

Written notice of withdrawal must be received in the Los Angeles Office of Admissions no later than the final withdrawal deadline. Requests to withdraw received after that will not be processed. Stopping payment on a check or dishonoring a check does not constitute withdrawing from an examination.

If an applicant withdraws, is absent from, or is ineligible for this examination and decides to apply to take the next First-Year Law Students' Examination, he/she will be subject to the same deadlines as applicants who did not apply for this examination. Requests to withdraw received after the final withdrawal deadline will not be processed. Applications for the next examination will be available through the Admissions portion of the State Bar's website at http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Withdrawal Refund Policy

PDF opens in new window Withdrawal Refund Policy

[ top ]  [ close ]

Grading

The passing score for the First-Year Law Students' Examination is a total score of 560 or higher. An applicant's multiple-choice score will be the number of items answered correctly. Multiple-choice raw scores will be converted to a 400-point scale. This process adjusts for the possible differences between administrations of the examination in the average difficulty of their multiple-choice items. As a result an applicant's multiple-choice score will not be affected by the difficulty of the particular version of the examination that the applicant takes.

An applicant's raw score on an essay question can range between 40 and 100. Total raw essay scores can therefore range between 160 and 400 points. Total raw essay scores will be converted to the same 400-point scale of measurement as that used for the multiple-choice portion. This is done to adjust for the possible differences between administrations of the examination in the average difficulty of their essay questions and for variations in grader standards. Consequently, an applicant's adjusted essay score on the 400-point scale will not be affected by possible score differences between administrations in the difficulty of the essay questions or by fluctuations in grader standards.

An applicant's total score on the examination is the sum of that applicant's converted scores on the multiple-choice and essay sections. This step gives these sections equal weight in determining the total score.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Do Not Grade Policy

Effective with the administration of the June 2003 examination, the "Do Not Grade Policy" was rescinded. The answers of anyone present for the examination, partially or wholly, will be graded and the scores will be reported to the applicant.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Admittance Tickets

Admittance tickets, advising the time and place to take the examination, will be available for printing from the Admissions Status Screen once eligibility for the examination has been determined approximately eight weeks prior to administration of the examination. You will not receive a ticket in the mail. Any applicant not able to print an admittance ticket at least two weeks prior to the examination and who has not otherwise been notified of being ineligible must contact the Office of Admissions. You will not be allowed to take the examination if you do not bring both a printed copy of your admittance ticket and a government-issued ID to the test center.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Test Center Address List

PDF opens in new window June 2014 FYLSE Test Center Address List

[ top ]  [ close ]

Deadlines
  June 2014 Exam
Timely Filing Deadline April 1, 2014
Withdrawal Deadline (60% Refund) May 1, 2014
Withdrawal Deadline (30% Refund) May 16, 2014
Final Filing Deadline May 15, 2014
Change of Address Request May 15, 2014
Test Center Change Request May 15, 2014
Testing Accommodations Petition Filing (Petitions must be complete) May 15, 2014
Testing Accommodations Final Appeal Deadline June 3, 2014
Final Eligibility Deadline June 10, 2014
Emergency Testing Accommodations Petition Final Filing Deadline June 13, 2014
Last Day for Applicants to Certify Their Laptop June 20, 2014
Final Withdrawal Deadline (No Refund) June 10, 2014

[ top ]  [ close ]
Fees

All applicants must pay the required fees. The schedule of fees for the First-Year Law Students' Examination is listed below.

  Fee
First-Year Law Students' Examination $566.00
Laptop Fee $139.00
Late Laptop fee (requested after submitting application) $15.00

To avoid payment of a late filing fee, an application and fees must be received in the State Bar's Office of Admission or received on or before the Timely Filing Deadline for the current First-Year Law Students' Examination. Additional late filing fees must accompany all applications filed between the dates listed below.

Fee June 2014 Exam
$25.00 Late Filing Fee April 2, 2014 - April 30, 2014
$200.00 Late Filing Fee May 1, 2014 - May 15, 2014

Transfer of Fees
The transfer of fees from one examination to another is prohibited.

Outstanding Fees
Any outstanding fees will be required to be paid before an applicant is allowed to take any future examinations.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Application Abandonment

An application that is not brought to a complete and filed status by the final filing deadline will be abandoned. This includes requisite fees, signature and/or the required documentation. Once the application is filed, if the applicant receives notice to provide information, but does not provide such information by the final filing deadline, the application will be abandoned. No refund of fees will be paid in the event an application is abandoned. Any outstanding fees will be required to be paid before the applicant is allowed to submit any future application.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Completion of Application

Before submitting the application, the applicant should make sure that he/she previously registered with the Committee and confirm that all questions have been answered correctly; otherwise the application will be considered incomplete. Applications that are not brought to a complete and filed status, including payment of any applicable late fees, within 60 days of receipt or by the final filing deadline, will be abandoned. No refund of fees will be paid in the event an application is abandoned.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Study Aids

There are materials available that might be of assistance to applicants in determining that which the Committee desires in an answer to a First Year Law Students' examination question available from the Office of Admissions. Please go to http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov for more information.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Examination Attendance Policy

If an applicant does not attend a required, scheduled examination session, the applicant will not be permitted to attend any remaining examination session(s). Applicants must make a good faith attempt to complete each portion of the examination for which they are present. An applicant's attempt to circumvent security procedures may lead to voiding the applicant's attendance at a session, and the applicant may be prohibited from attending any remaining examination session(s).

[ top ]  [ close ]

Late Arrival to the Test Center

Applicants who arrive at the test center after one (1) hour of testing has elapsed will not be permitted to enter the test center.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Admissions Rules

The Application to take the First-Year Law Students' Examination will be processed in accordance with the Admissions Rules. The current Admissions Rules are available through the Admissions portion of the State Bar's website at http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov.

[ top ]  [ close ]

Examination Administration Rules and Policies

PDF opens in new window Examination Administration Rules and Policies


[ top ]  [ close ]