Bar Membership & Registration

Completion of the Juris Doctor law study program 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.

Admission to the practice of law in the State of California is regulated pursuant to Sections 6060-6069.5 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 of the State Bar of California, which are available on their website: www.calbar.ca.gov. It is the student’s responsibility to meet all California State Bar requirements.

The requirements for licensure and admission to practice in the courts of other states may not be met by graduation from Northwestern California University. However, many states within the United States will admit an attorney to practice after he or she has passed the bar of another jurisdiction, such as California, and has practiced law for a period of time, usually five years.

For information regarding other states, click here: Practicing Law in Other States 

Registration with the State Bar of California as a Law Student

Every student seeking admission to practice law in California is required to register with the Committee of Bar Examiners. Students who enroll in Northwestern California University should register with the Committee of Bar Examiners within 90 days of enrollment. The student registration numbers assigned by the Committee to new students must be furnished to the University by each student within 60 days of receipt thereof.

First-Year Law Students Exam (Baby Bar)

All ‘Special students’ at Northwestern California University are required to take the First-Year Law Students’ Examination (FYLSX) at the end of their first year of study. It is administered by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California in June and October of each year.

‘Special students’ are those who, for one reason or another, did not complete enough college work to qualify for enrollment under ‘Regular student’ status. They, instead, qualified for enrollment by achieving required scores on designated CLEP (College Level Examination Program) exams. Special students must pass the FYLSX to qualify for continued study at the law school.

The FYLSX must also be taken by Regular Students who were enrolled in the law study program at Northwestern California University prior to its accreditation and were not eligible to transition to the accredited program, or for other reasons did not transition to the accredited program.

In accordance with Section 6060 of the California Business and Professions Code, students who must take and pass the FYLSX must do so within three administrations of first becoming eligible to take it, which is upon successful completion of their first year of law study. If passed during the first three administrations after becoming eligible to take the examination, credit may then be allowed for all courses taken prior to passing.

Those who do not pass the examination within its first three administrations upon becoming eligible to take the examination, but who subsequently pass the examination, shall receive credit for one year of legal study only.

Social Security Number Requirement

The State Bar of California requires a Social Security Number to register as a law student or to take the Baby Bar or General Bar exam. An exemption exists for foreign students, but an application for exemption is required. The requirements can be viewed on the State Bar of California website at www.calbar.ca.gov.