Bar Membership & Registration

The Juris Doctor (J.D.) law study program when completed over a four-year period is designed to meet the requirements for licensure and admission to practice in the California State Courts and the United States Federal Courts as a California attorney.

The requirements for immediate and/or eventual licensure and admission to practice in the courts of other states may not be met by graduation from Northwestern California University. Many states within the United States, however, upon application and testing will admit an attorney to practice after he or she has passed the bar of another jurisdiction (e.g. California) and has practiced law for a period of time, usually five years.

Admission To Practice Law In California

Admission to the practice of law in the State of California is regulated by Section 6060 of the Business and Professions Code of the State of California and by the rules of the Committee of Bar Examiners. Each student is responsible to comply with the requirements established by the Committee of Bar Examiners. Those students seeking Bar eligibility are advised to obtain and read the Rules Regulating Admission to Practice Law in California which are available by writing or phoning the Committee at:

The Committee of Bar Examiners
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 538-2300


Registration As A Law Student

Every student seeking admission to practice law in California is required to register with the Committee of Bar Examiners within 90 days following enrollment in a law school. Those students who enroll in Northwestern California University and who wish to eventually practice law should register with the Committee of Bar Examiners within the stated time period.

First Year Law Students' Examination

Such students, after one year of study, must take and successfully pass the State of California's "First Year Law Students' Examination". The requirement to take and successfully pass the "First Year Law Students' Examination" does not apply to transfer students who have completed the first year at an American Bar Association approved, or California State Bar accredited law school such that they were eligible for advancement into second year curriculum there.

Social Security Number Requirement

Individuals who apply for admission to practice law in California are required to provide a social security number to the State Bar of California.

Social Security Number Exemption

Foreign attorney applicants and foreign-educated law school applicants who are not admitted to the practice of law and who are not able to obtain social security numbers because they do not qualify for one, may request that they be exempted from the requirement of providing a social security number at the time they submit their registration forms. Such applicants may request exemptions from the Social Security Number Requirement by completing and submitting the “Request for Social Security Number Exemption Required for Admission to Practice Law in California” form at the time they register as an attorney applicant or general applicant with the Committee of Bar Examiners. To qualify for an exemption, applicants must state the reason they are unable to qualify for a social security number and attest to not being in arrears With Any Court Ordered Child Or Family Support Obligations.

Obtaining A Social Security Number

Obtaining a U.S. Social Security Number involves a process that is outlined on the Social Security Administration Website at Information regarding the process can also be obtained from the Immigration and Naturalization Website at All questions regarding the process should be directed to those agencies.