In case your wondering if your should go to law school, with the ultimate goal of practicing law in California, without a social security number, the California State Bar does require that all members of the bar have a valid social security number. Generally, this is the rule, although there are some important exemptions.
As of the date of this article, all applicants for admission to practice law are required to provide a social security number pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 30 (California’s tax enforcement provisions) and Family Code Section 17520 (Child Support Enforcement Program.)
Business and Professions Code Section 30 provides:
… a licensing board may not process any application for an original license or for renewal of a license unless the applicant or licensee provides its federal employer identification number or social security number where requested on the application.
Family Code Section 17520(6)(d) provides:
Notwithstanding any other law, all boards shall collect social security numbers from all applicants for the purpose of matching the names of the certified list provided by the department to applicants and licensees and of responding to requests for information made by child support agencies.
And the exemptions:
Foreign attorney applicants and foreign-educated law school applicants who are not admitted to the practice of law who are not able to obtain social security numbers because they do not qualify for one, may request that they be exempted from the requirement of providing a social security number at the time they submit their registration forms. Such applicants may request exemptions from the social security number requirement by completing and submitting the “Request for Social Security Number Exemption Required for Admission to Practice Law in California” form below at the time they register as an attorney applicant or general applicant with the Committee of Bar Examiners. To qualify for an exemption, applicants must state the reason they are unable to qualify for a social security number and attest to not being in arrears with any court ordered child or family support obligations.
For further information on California State Bar membership, contact the Office of Admissions, The State Bar of California,
180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-1639.
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