Passing the Bar exam and gaining admittance to the State Bar are not the same thing. A State Bar can choose not to admit you even after you pass the exam.
To gain admittance to the State Bar of California, you must also go through a background check and pass a moral character determination. There are several things that may put your moral character in question and jeopardize your chance of admission to the Bar.
Reasons the Bar may deny admittance
A pattern of dishonesty or questionable behavior does not reflect well on your moral character. A criminal record, drug or alcohol problems, financial irresponsibility and failure to pay child support are all reasons for denial of admission. However, it is important to be honest about your history during the moral character review, because lying during the review process is another very common reason for denial.
What to do if you are not admitted
If you do not get admitted to the Bar due to an event in your history, you have the right to appeal the decision. You will need to present a strong case to show that you do have the good moral character they are looking for despite your past. You will need to present evidence that shows how you have changed. For example, if the reason for your denial was a criminal record, providing information about your age at the time of the crime and the circumstances surrounding the crime may help in your appeal.
If you decide to appeal the decision of the State Bar of California, seek legal representation to assist you. While you may have a legal education, attorneys who specialize in State Bar defense are better equipped to present your appeal to the Bar.