Pre-Legal Education Requirements


Pursuant to Chapter 3, Rule 4.25 of the Admissions Rules, a general applicant must have (a) completed at least two years of college work or (b) demonstrated equivalent intellectual achievement.

A. Two Years of College Work

To have completed two years of college work, an applicant shall have earned an Associate of Arts degree, Associate of Science degree, or at least 60 semester (90 quarter units) of college work applicable to a baccalaureate degree at a regionally accredited or approved school recognized by the Committee of Bar Examiners, with an average grade at least equal to that required for graduation.

An approved school recognized by the Committee of Bar Examiners shall be a college or university that has degree granting authority from the state in which it resides. A regionally accredited school shall be a college or university accredited by anyone of the following regional accrediting agencies:

B. College Level Examination Program (For demonstation of equivalent intellectual achievement)

Applicants who have not completed at least two years of college work may satisfy the pre-legal education requirement by attaining three passing scores on the following general examinations administered by the College Level Examination Program (CLEP):

  1. Under Composition and Literature category,
    • College Composition

    AND

  2. Two other examinations, each designed to correspond to full-year courses (six semester hours each) or four other examinations, each designed to correspond to semester courses (three semester hours each*) that can be selected from any of the following subjects:
    • Composition and Literature (Humanities examination only)
    • Foreign Language
    • History and Social Science
    • Science and Mathematics
    • Business

As of July 2001, the required passing score for each test is 50.

Applicants must register to take the examinations directly with the CLEP, pay the required fees, and request CLEP score reports submitted to the Office of Admissions of the State Bar of California. The code for the Office of Admissions is 7165.

Copies of informational brochures and registration forms are available at local colleges and universities, or by contacting:

College Board
2099 Gateway Place, Suite 480
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 452-1400 ext. 129
C. Special Students

A "special student" is a student enrolled in a California-accredited law school who qualified to begin the study of law through CLEP scores, which were obtained prior to beginning the study of law.

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