Out of State attorneys seeking admission to practice law in California still have to take the California Bar Exam. There is no reciprocity in California for attorney applicants as there are in many other states.
The question attorney CA Bar exam takers always ask me is whether they should take the General Bar Exam (3-day which includes the MBE) or The California Attorney’s Exam. The California Attorney’s exam excludes the Multistate Bar Examination for out-of state attorneys who maintain an active status for at least four consecutive years.
Although these attorneys are not precluded from taking the MBE, the argument AGAINST this 200 multiple-choice question (all day Wednesday exam) is persuasive. Busy, practicing attorneys, executive bar takers, and out-of state attorneys do not generally have the time (or the desire) to re-learn the details of the law and to practice thousands of MBE questions before the California Bar Exam.
Starting this February 2015, however, the MBE now will include an additional subject: Federal Civil Procedure. Civil Procedure will be introduced for the first time on the Multiple Choice in 36 states. With the addition of Civil Procedure to the MBE the number of questions per MBE topic will decrease. Starting in 2015, there will be 28 questions covering Contracts, and 27 questions covering each of the six remaining topics, for a total of 190 graded questions, and of course the 10 experimental questions.
So, an interesting question: Will the inclusion of Civil Procedure now make the MBE an attractive option for CA attorney bar takers? After all, having litigated and practiced law, could the addition of Civil Procedure to the MBE questions be a point-getter for attorney California bar exam takers? While the Rule Against Perpetuities and the concept of Restraints on Alienation may send ANY attorney running for the hills, Subject Matter Jurisdiction may be a welcomed friend. Civil Procedure is, for the most part, straightforward and attorneys may have an advantage here. With the scope of the subject announced in July 2014, it is certainly something to think about when you apply to take the California Bar Exam.
We’d love to talk with you about it. Feel free to call Shari or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org