I am contemplating a move to California but have heard that most law firms require attorneys to be members of the California bar. Is this true? If so, why do law firms have this requirement?

Is it mandatory to pass the CA bar to practice in CA?


Although there are always exceptions to the rule, most firms in California do require candidates who are applying for positions with them to be members of the California bar. The exceptions usually pertain to practice areas where there is a high demand but a low supply of candidates and/or to candidates who have exceptional qualifications for a given position.

There are several reasons that law firms in California require most candidates to be members of the California bar prior to applying for positions. The following are some of the most common: