When you graduate from nationally accredited law school (ABA) you are eligible to take the bar in any of the fifty states. When you graduate from San Joaquin College of Law (SJCL), a State and Regionally Accredited law school, you are eligible to take the California bar and, upon passing, practice law in California.
The rules vary for each of the 49 other states. Below are the rules (taken from the Comprehensive Rules to Bar Admission Requirements) about the extra requirements for each state. Even if the State, you are interested in, is not listed below you still can petition that State's Bar to take their Bar Exam. SJCL strongly advises that you contact other states, you may be interested in, for the current requirements (even if listed below) before deciding to attend SJCL.
Graduates of unaccredited law schools who wish to sit for the bar exam must be licensed and in good standing for the past 5 years in the state where the unaccredited law school from which they graduated is located and that state must have a reciprocal agreement with the state of Alabama allowing graduates of Alabama’s unaccredited law schools to sit for that state’s bar examination. At this time no state or jurisdiction has such a reciprocal agreement with Alabama.
Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools who have passed the bar exam in another state are eligible to take the bar exam without additional legal education after 5 years’ active practice in another jurisdiction in which they have been admitted.
Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools can write the examination if they have at least 5 years of active and continuous practice within the last 7 years in some other state or states.
Must have practiced 5 of previous 7 years in order to sit for bar exam if person is a graduate of a non-ABA-approved law school. Graduates of unapproved (not ABA- or state-approved) law schools are not eligible for this option.
Connecticut currently does not have any non-ABA-approved in-state schools. An applicant who otherwise does not meet the educational requirements may be eligible to sit for the exam if he/she meets certain conditions. Conditions include admission before the highest court of original jurisdiction in a U.S. state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a U.S. District Court for 10 or more years, good standing in such jurisdiction, active practice of law in that jurisdiction for 5 of the last 7 years, and an intention to actively practice law in Connecticut and to devote a majority of his/her work to such practice.
District of Columbia
All graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools, including those who have attended via correspondence or online study, must have successfully completed at least 26 semester hours of study in the subjects tested on the DC bar exam in a law school that at the time of such study was ABA-approved. These additional semester hours cannot be earned through correspondence or online study.
After 10 years’ active practice in another jurisdiction (District of Columbia or other states in the United States or in federal courts in the United States or its territories, possessions, or protectorates) in which applicant has been duly admitted, the applicant may file a representative compilation of work product for evaluation by the Board.
Published waiver policy lists criteria considered by Board in determining whether waiver standard has been met.
Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools who have passed the bar exam in another state are eligible to take the bar exam without additional legal education if they have actively practiced law for 5 of the 6 years immediately prior to application.
Non-ABA-approved law school graduates can apply to take the bar exam, but must first have an education equivalency evaluationconducted and must have been actively and substantially engaged in the practice of law as principal occupation for 3 of last 5 years and meet other standards set by the Board. Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools who have passed the bar exam in another state are eligible to take the bar exam without additional legal education if they are admitted elsewhere, have 3 years’ active practice out of 5 preceding the application, and establish that the non-ABA-approved law school is the substantial equivalent of a Kentucky ABA-approved law school.
Applicants may have either graduated from a law school accredited by the jurisdiction where it is located and have been admitted to practice by exam within the U.S. and have been in the active practice of law in a jurisdiction in which they are admitted for at least 3 years; or have completed 2/3 of graduation requirements from an ABA-approved law school and within 12 months after successful completion pursued the study of law in the law office of an attorney in active practice of law in Maine on a full-time basis for at least 1 year. Also, graduates of Massachusetts School of Law may take the exam after graduation, once they are admitted to the Massachusetts bar.
Approved law school must first be admitted by exam in another U.S. jurisdiction to qualify to apply for a waiver to take the Maryland Bar Examination. An attorney applicant who is a graduate of a non-ABA-approved law school is eligible for special attorney exam if the attorney applicant has practiced law for 10 years, or 5 years in the immediate past 10 years, following admission by examination in another jurisdiction.
Graduates of law schools which at the time of graduation were approved by the ABA or authorized by statute of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may sit for the exam.
Applicant must have a J.D. from a reputable and qualified law school. Law schools fully or provisionally approved by the ABA on the date the applicant’s degree is conferred are considered to be reputable and qualified. A non-ABA-approved law school may ask the Board to determine that it is reputable and qualified.
Applicants to the Minnesota bar must have either (1) a degree from a law school that is fully or provisionally approved by the ABA or (2) all of the following: (a) a J.D. from any U.S. law school, (b) a bachelor’s degree accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and (c) evidence that the applicant has lawfully practiced law in a U.S. jurisdiction for 60 of the preceding 84 months.
Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools who have passed the bar exam and have been admitted in another state are eligible to take the bar exam after full-time practice for 3 of the 5 years preceding application or completion of 24 credit hours in residence at an ABA-approved law school.
An attorney who is not a graduate of an ABA-approved law school and has at least 10 years of active and continuous practice in some other state(s) must first have an education equivalency evaluation conducted.
Graduates of non-ABA-approved law school in Massachusetts are permitted to sit if they have first been admitted in Massachusetts.
Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools, including correspondence and online law schools, may write the examination if they arelicensed and in good standing in another U.S. state and have engaged in the practice of law in the state where admitted for 4 of the 6 years prior to application.
Law office study permitted after successful completion of 1 year at an ABA-approved law school. The amount of credit awarded for lawschool study is computed after a review of the law school transcript. Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools can write the examination only if they (1) have been admitted to practice in another jurisdiction and (2) have at least 5 years active and continuous practice within the last 7 years in jurisdiction(s) where they are admitted to practice.
An applicant who was educationally eligible prior to August 1, 1995, remains so.
Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools who have passed the bar exam in another state are eligible to take the bar exam without additional legal education if they have been admitted to practice before the highest tribunal in another state, the District of Columbia, or a federal territory, have graduated from a law school equivalent to a law school approved by the ABA and where requirements for admission are substantially equivalent to those of Oregon, and have been actively, substantially, and continually engaged in the practice of law for at least 3 of the 5 years immediately preceding the taking of exam. Evaluating satisfaction of educational requirements is made without regard to whether the education was received via traditional fixed-facility courses or online courses.
Applicant must be a member in good standing of the bar of a reciprocal state and have met specified practice requirements for 5 outof past 7 years.
A graduate of a non-ABA-approved law school is eligible to take the Rhode Island Bar Examination if he or she qualifies for attorneyadmission (i.e., an out-of-state attorney who has been engaged in the active full-time practice of law in another jurisdiction for at least 5 out of the 10 years immediately preceding the filing of the bar application), provided he or she meets the other qualifications for admission.
Generally, Texas requires an applicant to have a J.D. from an ABA-approved law school. An attorney licensed in another U.S. jurisdiction may be eligible for exemption from the ABA-approved J.D. requirement to take the Texas Bar Exam if he or she has been actively and substantially engaged in the lawful practice of law in a U.S. jurisdiction for at least 3 out of 5 years before the application is filed. However, the legal education must be substantially similar to an ABA-approved J.D. program. Texas has no provision for admitting an applicant whose law degree was obtained through distance education, correspondence study, or “external programs.”
Non-ABA-approved law school graduates must meet a combination of graduation and active practice requirements. The applicant’s law school cannot be based on correspondence or online study, it must be accredited in the state where it resides, and the degree must be the substantial equivalent of the legal education provided by an ABA-approved law school. The applicant must also have been lawfully engaged in the practice of law for 10 of the 11 years immediately preceding the filing of the application.
4-year law office study program; must have completed 3/4 of work accepted for a bachelor’s degree in a college approved by the Court before commencing the study of law. Non-ABA or online law school can be approved by the Supreme Court if in the process of seeking ABA accreditation and may include up to 2 years of law office study before eligible to sit for bar exam. If a graduate of a non-ABA-approved law school has passed the bar exam in another state and is admitted and actively engaged in the practice of law in another jurisdiction, eligibility to take the bar exam without additional legal education may be granted by the Board.
Graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools must obtain an LL.M. degree for the practice of law at an ABA-approved law school inorder to qualify to sit for the exam; course requirements are in the rules. Law office study refers to Washington’s Law Clerk Program (Admission to Practice Rule 6); an LL.M. is not required.
Non-ABA-approved law school graduates must show that legal education is equivalent to ABA-approved law school unless admittedby bar examination in another state. If applicant graduates from law school in a state where the law school’s graduates may take the bar examination, applicant may qualify for West Virginia examination by completing 3 years of law office study in West Virginia and getting certification of 2 West Virginia attorneys regarding knowledge, competence, and good moral character. Graduates of correspondence schools or online schools are not eligible under any circumstances.
Must have received first professional degree in law from a law school whose graduates are eligible to take the bar exam of the jurisdiction in which the school is located, and must have taken and passed the bar examination and been admitted to that or another U.S. jurisdiction.
A combination of ABA-approved law school and time of study in the office of a member of the Wyoming State Bar (to total 3 years) may be permitted with prior approval by the Board of Law Examiners.
The general rule requires that the applicant must have graduated from a law school approved by the ABA or the Court.