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California Bar Examination

California is an appealing option for those lawyers who are admitted to practice law in jurisdictions outside the U.S. because they can apply to take the California bar exam as "attorney applicants." (This is in contrast to the New York Bar, which requires most internationally educated lawyers to complete a U.S. LL.M. with a number of American law courses). Please see the California Bar Examination Instructions on eligibility of Attorney Applicants. See also http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=MK-p_BBvcAE%3D&tabid=265.

For foreign-educated lawyers who have not yet been admitted to practice in their home jurisdiction, however, it is more difficult to establish California bar eligibility.Internationally educated lawyers not admitted elsewhere would need to complete a U.S. LL.M. that meets requirements specified by the California Bar. The requirements include taking at least 12 credits in at least four separate subjects tested on the California Bar Exam, including a course that covers the California Rules of Conduct and relevant sections of the California Business and Professions Code, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and leading federal and state case law on the subject. (Georgetown's Professional Responsibility class does not meet that standard.)See also

http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Education/LegalEducation/ForeignEducation.aspx

LL.M. graduates who are not yet admitted to practice in their home country may, of course, consider taking the California bar later in their careers. Once admitted to the practice of law outside the U.S., you then become eligible for the California Bar Exam as an attorney applicant, as discussed above.

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