Preparing for the Bar Exam
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Congratulations, your three years of law school are over and you are preparing for your state's bar exam. Here is a list of exam resources and good luck.
The exam consists of two parts. The first is the multi-state and the second is your state specific law essay exam. While you are probably an expert by now on law school essay exams, you may want to review our article on essay questions in preparation for your exam.
Basic Rules for Taking a Law School Essay Exam
Prepared by the NCBE and administered nationally, the Multistate Exam or MBE is a six hour examination containing two hundred multiple-choice questions. The questions are designed to be answered by applying fundamental legal principles rather than state-specific laws.
You must past the multistate or most states will not even grade the essay portion of your bar exam. Here, the key is practice and more practice under timed conditions. You only have a little under two minutes per question. My trick in practice was to take an index card and cover the question. This forced me to read the answers first and try to eliminate the ones that were an incorrect statement of the law. This also let me know what area of law, torts, property, etc. and the critical elements to look for in the question. Then I would read the question and highlight the facts needed to answer the question while eliminating the "distractors". While this may not work for you, try it and see.
State Specific Bar Exam Questions
In most states, this consists of essay and short answer questions usually taken from past cases in your state. Your best source is previous classmates that have taken the exam since it is not unusual for questions to repeat. There are links at the bottom of the page to states that publish their old bar exam questions and sample answers. Again the key is to practice and then practice some more. Time is your enemy and you must learn to write quickly and cover only enough ground to pass that particular question. If you have extra time, you can always go back and add details. Here, you are not trying for an A like in law school but only a C. Passing is passing and the ones that make an A are called the same as the ones that made a C, "lawyer". All anyone knows or cares is whether you passed or not.
Almost anyone can graduate from law school but all of that time and effort will be wasted if you cannot pass the bar. My suggestion is to start studying your last semester and not wait. Here are some recommended study guides, click on the "next page" at the bottom for more selections.
Sample Law Exam Questions and Answers
These are also good sites for preparing for your final law school exams. Your goal is to pass and the MBE is all about reading comprehension while the essay exams tend to test your knowledge of the specific laws in your state. For each section of the essay test there will be ten to twelve main cases in your state. You are really past the point where outlines are going to be of much use. Use your time answering past bar test questions under timed conditions and then comparing your answers to the model answers.
Pennsylvania Bar Exam Information, Questions and Answers
Past Georgia Exam Questions and Answers
Past New York Bar Exam Essay Questions with Essay Answers
There are important differences between the New York State bar exam eligibility requirements and other states' requirements. For example, students must take professional responsibility in a live format. Furthermore, the New York Court of Appeals adopted the Uniform Bar Exam effective with the July 2016 administration of the New York State bar examination. The court also adopted a requirement that applicants for admission in New York be required to complete an online course on New York law and take and pass an online examination on New York law, as a requirement for admission. The court also added a skills competency requirement that can be satisfied by completing one of five pathways.
Multistate Exam Questions with Detailed Answers
New York Exam This site is a must if you are taking the NY Bar Exam. Excellent resource for general questions that are applicable to other states.
Alaska Exam Questions and Model Answers
Contains exam questions and grader’s guides for Alaska bar examinations.
California Exam Questions and Answers
Arkansas Bar Exam Questions and Answers 2012 through 2016
Texas Exam Questions and Answers click on Examination Information and then Selected Bar Exam Answers
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