In California, students may attend three types of law schools that offer classroom instruction at a fixed-facility campus:
For fixed-facility law schools that are California-accredited, students must satisfactorily complete a course of legal education that offers no less than 1200 hours of instruction over a period of 90 weeks, if offered on a full-time basis, or 120 weeks over a part-time basis that must be completed in a period of at least thirty two months and no more than eighty four months.
For students studying at an unaccredited fixed-facility law school, the program of legal education must require the completion of no less than 270 hours of classroom attendance a year for four years, although not necessarily four consecutive years.
For more information on the minimum study requirements at a fixed-facility law school accredited by the State Bar of California’s Committee of Bar Examiners: [hyperlink: Accredited Law School Rules and Guidelines for Accredited Law School Rules].
For more information on the minimum study requirements at an unaccredited fixed-facility law school: Unaccredited Law School Rules and Guidelines for Unaccredited Law School Rules].
Neither the committee nor the State Bar Office of Admissions will advise prospective students on the advantages or disadvantages of studying law at either a law school approved by the American Bar Association, an accredited law school, an unaccredited registered law school or the quality of the legal education programs provided by any of the listed schools.
Prospective students should refer to available resources such as the law school pass/fail statistics on the bar examination and First-Year Law Students’ Examination (available on the admissions portion of the State Bar of California’s website at www.calbar.ca.gov/admissions, current and former students, pre-legal advisers located on college or university campuses, and other career counselors, among others.
Applicants seeking admission to practice law in California will receive credit for their law study at a registered unaccredited fixed-facility law school only if such study is completed in accordance with Title 4, Division 1 of the Rules of the State Bar of California (Admissions Rules).
Students attending registered unaccredited fixed-facility law schools are required to take the First-Year Law Students’ Examination and must pass it within three administrations after first becoming eligible to take the examination, which is upon completion of the first year of law study, in order to receive credit for law study undertaken up to the point of passage.
If the examination is passed on a subsequent attempt, only one year of law study credit will be given toward meeting the legal education requirements needed to qualify to take the California Bar Examination.