The history of Bar Exams and LSAT

1390 Views
Massachusetts administered the first written bar exam in 1855. Until that point, the exams had been administered orally. Bar exams continued to become increasingly formal and regulated, and in 1931, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (or NCBE) was established to help "develop, maintain, and apply reasonable and uniform standards of education and character for eligibility for admission to the practice of law."

What is it?


Unlike the LSAT, which measures your logical and analytical skills, this test is strictly knowledge-based. Another difference between the bar and the LSAT: This exam is one you can actually fail. It's essentially a 25- to 30-subject final exam on all the classes you've taken in law school-including stuff you haven't seen since your first year-as well as some subjects that you may have never covered in a classroom. As you might imagine, studying for this exam is not optional: It's just as much a rite of passage as taking the exam itself.

Each state designs and administers its own exam for admission to its bar, drawing on a combination of four NCBE-sponsored standardized tests: the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE), the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT). In addition, individual jurisdictions can develop their own "local" exams that address their specific laws and exceptions. These tests are usually in an essay format, but some states, like Florida, also use multiple-choice questions.

Resource: Find out which states use which tests at ncbex.org/tests.htm.

Who can take it?
You must qualify to sit for the bar exam, which usually means graduating from an American Bar Association-approved law school (click here for a list). Some jurisdictions also allow other means of qualification, such as one year of law school study and apprenticeship at a law firm for a certain period. (Fun fact: Abraham Lincoln-one of the most respected lawyers in U.S. history-never attended law school and even went on to become a bar examiner.)

Resource: Click here for the ABA's list of bar-admission requirements in every state.

When do I take it?
All jurisdictions using the standardized one-day MBE (only Louisiana, Washington State, and Puerto Rico do not) are required to administer the test on the last Wednesdays of both July and February each year. The remainder of a state's bar-admissions testing takes place either on the Tuesday immediately prior, the Thursday immediately following, or both.

While most students take the bar exam in July, students who want to take it in a second state, who graduate in the fall, or who didn't pass their first time around can take it in February.

Next page | The biggest "w" of all: where.

This article originally appeared on JD Jungle.

CLICK HERE TO SEARCH JOBS IN OTHER STATES!




Featured Testimonials

LawCrossing has great search engines and is extremely helpful. I found a job through the website. Thanks!
Melody


Facts

LawCrossing Fact #224: Your privacy is always guaranteed.


Location
Phoenix, AZ
Description
Academic Support Fellow (6042) The Fellow will be part of an energetic team of professionals who de...
Apply now  
Location
Detroit, MI
Description
Bar Regional Director The candidate will be responsible to grow and promote bar prep business in th...
Apply now  
Location
Woodland, CA
Description
Temporary Health Unit Staff Attorney The candidate, under supervision of the managing attorney, wil...
Location
Pensacola, FL
Description
Staff Attorney The candidate should be a member of The Florida Bar. Those registered to take the ne...
Location
Tallahassee, FL
Description
Staff Attorney The candidate should be a member of The Florida Bar. Those registered to take the ne...
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Description
Mediator The candidate will work for department: Workers Compensation Admin. The purpose of the pos...
Apply now  
 

NOW TRENDING ON BCG ATTORNEY SEARCH

MOST POPULAR ARTICLES

Testimonial of the Week

I was able to obtain my new job through LawCrossing. I love your service! Hopefully, I won't need your help for a while, but if I do, I'll certainly sign up again. I have already told others about your great site.
  • Theresa D. Colorado
Job of the Day

Staff Attorney

Honolulu, HI

The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaiʻi (ACLU-HI) is seeking a skilled and self-motivated attorney to develop and...

Employer: American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i (ACLU-HI)

Job Search Tip

Avoid pronouns like 1.'The reader assumes you did all the things you say you did on the resume.'