Committee of Bar Examiners

Application Information

This committee examines applicants through the structure and administration of the First-Year Law Students' Examination and the California Bar Examination. The committee:

  • screens applicants for moral character;
  • recommends all qualified applicants to the California Supreme Court for admission to the bar;
  • accredits law schools in California;
  • registers unaccredited law schools;
  • studies and reports on proposed changes in the law and other matters concerning the requirements for admission to practice law in California.

The committee is composed of 10 lawyers, including one young lawyer member admitted three years or less before the time of his or her appointment, and nine public members who must not be members of the State Bar or admitted to practice before any court in the United States.

The Governor, the Senate Rules Committee, and the Speaker of the Assembly appoint the nine public members.

The State Bar's Board of Trustees appoints the lawyer members to this committee, and the application information here is for the State Bar's lawyer appointments only. Members serve four-year terms.

Lawyer applicants:

  • must be members of The State Bar of California;
  • cannot be currently employed as a law school professor or administrator;
  • cannot be currently associated with a bar review company; and
  • should not have a relative taking the California Bar Examination or First-Year Law Students' Examination during the term of office.

It is preferred the lawyer members be in active practice.

  • Expected 2015-16 lawyer vacancies:  2 (includes the young lawyer member who must have been admitted in California three years or less as of Oct. 11, 2015)
  • Approximate yearly time commitment: 7 regular meetings (one-two days per meeting), plus an equal number of meetings for examination research, structure and grading, and additional time for subcommittees, meeting preparation, moral character applicant interviews and law school visitations
  • 2014-15 Chair:  Patricia P. White, San Jose
  • Staff contact:  Gayle Murphy 415-538-2322

Deadline for 2015 applications:  Feb. 2, 2015

2015-16 terms begin:   At the conclusion of the 2015 State Bar Annual Meeting (Oct. 11, 2015)