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California Bar Deadlines and Fees

Students should plan ahead for the expenses associated with taking the bar exam and becoming a licensed attorney, which total of minimum of between $3,500 and $5,500, not including living expenses in the time spent preparing for the exam. In addition to the schedule of fees below, students should budget for summer living expenses, travel, and perhaps hotel expenses during the exam. Note that late fees can be substantial if you miss applicable deadlines.

Description
Deadline
Regular Fee
Registration as a Law Student The State Bar advises students to register within 90 days of matriculation in law school. $119 (no late fee)
Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) Please see registration deadlines at the National Conference of Bar Examiners website. $135
Application for Determination of Moral Character Students should plan to complete at the end of their second year or beginning of their third year. $551
Live Scan Fingerprinting Students should plan to complete at the end of their second year or beginning of their third year. Varies by vendor (total cost generally ranges from $54-$124)
Application to Take the California Bar Exam* Please see registration deadlines on the State Bar website. $677
Laptop Fee Due at the same time as the bar exam application. $153
Bar Review Course and Other Study Resources Varies Varies by provider. Estimated expense from $1,400 to $3,500

Adaptibar MBE Program for Students Enrolled in Third-Year Bar Exam Workshop Course 

  • (reimbursable for students who meet specific completion requirements).
Purchase by first day of Third-Year Bar Exam Workshop Course. No deadline for students not taking the workshop. $330
Additional Expenses
  • Students should set aside funds for summer living expenses, travel, and perhaps hotel expenses during the exam.
Varies Varies

*Please note, applications typically become available in March for the July exam and in November for the February exam. Some popular examination sites fill quickly. Students should register early to ensure they are assigned to one of their preferred testing centers.