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Accommodations for the California State Bar

Student & Diversity Services works to ensure students with disabilities are informed about the bar exam process including support in preparing the petition packet for testing accommodations. Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to begin the application process during their last year in law school. The completed packet should be submitted no later than six months prior to the exam date.

The bar exam is administered in February and July each year.

Current California Bar Exam Dates, Registration Deadlines

Examination Exam Date(s) Application Availability Timely Filing Final Filing Deadline
February 2021 Feb. 23 & 24, 2021 October 1, 2020 Nov. 2, 2020 January 4, 2021

Suggested Guidelines for CA Bar Exam Accommodations

Step 1:  Prepare Early – Second Year

  1. Start Early: Students should thoroughly review the State Bar of California Accommodation website at the end of their second year in law school as the process for bar exam testing accommodations is detailed and time-consuming.
  2. Register with the State Bar. All applicants must register with the State Bar; this is the first step. You will use your State Bar number for the accommodation packet.
  3. Know if you qualify: Students who received accommodations during law school may qualify for testing accommodations for the bar exam. Other students including students who are pregnant, nursing mothers, and students who have experienced a recent accident may also qualify for testing accommodations.

Step 2: Prepare Each Part of the Application Packet

  1. Follow the instructions provided on the State Bar website in every detail.
    1. Important Tip: Download and print out the checklist of items that need to be completed in order for your application to be considered. Click here.
  2. Follow the Steps Outlined by the State Bar:
    1. Complete Petition for Testing Accommodations – Form A
      1. Draft Personal Narrative as described in Question 2 of the Petition (Form A)
      2. TIP: This is a KEY part of your application. Take time to craft a persuasive statement akin to a Points and Authorities in a Motion. Confer with Assistant Dean of Student & Diversity Services on tips for an effective Personal Narrative.
    2. Complete Disability Verification Forms – Have your qualified health care professional complete each applicable disability form and return it to you.
      1. You may have multiple grounds to receive testing accommodations. A separate verification form is required for each category of disability.
      2. Each Verification Form also requires additional documentation from your qualifying health care professional.
    3.  Provide History of Accommodations
      1. Any prior testing agency grant of testing accommodations (ACT, SAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT)
      2. Form F : Request and submit Law School Verification – Student & Diversity Services must fill out a Form F. Please allow 3 business days for SDS to fill out the form.

Other supporting documentation may be required for you to include in your packet. It is the student’s responsibility to submit a complete packet by the bar deadline.   Questions should be directed to the State Bar of California Office of Admissions at 213-765-1500.

Step 3: Submit complete packet per State Bar instructions

  1. Keep a complete copy for your records.
  2. Submit 6 months prior to exam date

Contact Information

For further assistance or to schedule a personal consultation, contact California Western's ADA Coordinator:

Susan G. Finster, Esq.
Assistant Dean for Student & Diversity Services
Student Center, 350 Building First Floor
Email: StudentServices@cwsl.edu
Phone: 619-515-1576