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How to Become a Lawyer: An Inside Look at Working Behind the Bar

published March 28, 2023

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( 153 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)
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This article examines the characteristics of successful lawyers and features an in-depth look into the world of law. Working as a lawyer is a demanding and challenging profession that requires dedication, a rigorous education and hard work. In order to succeed, lawyers must have certain qualities such as a good work ethic, excellent communication skills, good problem solving abilities, and an interest in the law.

Lawyers are required to stay up to date on the most recent laws and legal developments, develop an understanding of their clients' needs, and be able to think on their feet. Having an eye for detail and an understanding of the relationships between different laws can help them in their practice. To succeed, lawyers must have the ability to act quickly, analyze issues, and come up with solutions.

Lawyers must have excellent communication skills. They must be able to explain and defend their clients' legal positions, suggest strategies, and present information in a clear and organized way. In order to effectively represent clients, lawyers need to actively listen to their clients and respond appropriately.

Lawyers must also possess strong writing skills and high ethical standards. Writing is an important part of the job; lawyers must be able to craft well-written legal documents such as pleadings and motions. In addition, they must adhere to the ethical standards of the legal profession and the laws of the state in which they practice.

Lastly, lawyers need to be highly organized and focused on the task at hand. Organization and focus allow lawyers to be efficient with their time and make sure that legal documents are filed in a timely manner.

Lawyers who are able to possess the necessary qualities, such as good work ethic, excellent communication skills, good problem-solving abilities, and an interest in the law, can excel in their profession. Understanding the ever-changing legal landscape and staying informed of developments while also understanding the needs of their clients are key to success. Lawyers must also have strong writing skills, ethical standards, and be highly organized to stay on top of their work. With the right attributes, lawyers can become successful professionals in their field.

The Emergence of Web-Based Legal Research

The introduction of the internet has revolutionized the legal research process. Nowadays, legal professionals have the opportunity to access vast amounts of legal information from a variety of sources. Web-based legal research tools allow lawyers to find information quickly and easily, eliminating the time and expense associated with traditional legal research methods.

The Benefits of Web-Based Legal Research

Web-based legal research offers several advantages over traditional research methods. It enables lawyers to search legal databases quickly and efficiently, making it possible to find the information they need quickly. Furthermore, the use of web-based research tools is often less expensive than other methods. In addition, web-based research tools can provide up-to-date information about legal developments, which may not always be available through other means. Finally, the use of web-based legal research tools allows lawyers to save time and money by eliminating the need to travel to distant libraries or courts.

Popular Web-Based Legal Research Tools

There are numerous web-based legal research tools that are popular among legal professionals. LexisNexis, Westlaw, and Fastcase are among the most widely used legal research tools. These platforms offer comprehensive collections of legal information, allowing lawyers to find the information they need with ease. Additionally, these platforms offer a variety of features, such as the ability to save searches, limit searches to a particular jurisdiction, and set up alerts to keep lawyers informed of the latest legal developments.

The Growing Popularity of Web-Based Legal Research

In recent years, the popularity of web-based legal research tools has increased dramatically. This is due to the fact that web-based research tools are efficient, cost-effective, and provide up-to-date information. Additionally, the use of web-based research tools has been made even easier by the proliferation of mobile devices, which allow lawyers to access information from anywhere, anytime. As such, web-based legal research tools are quickly becoming the preferred method of legal research for many lawyers.

The MBE covers the areas of legal knowledge that all lawyers should have mastered and is often considered the most significant component of the exam. Its 200 multiple choice questions are broken up into two three-hour sections-one administered in the morning, one in the afternoon.
The Importance of MBE in the Bar Exam

Questions are conceived by committees of lawyers and law professors and then reviewed and edited by several legal experts and psychometricians. They cover six different subject areas, most of which were addressed in your first year of law school: constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, real property, and torts. The majority of the questions test your knowledge of general legal principles, but some will provide statutes or exceptions for you to consider when formulating your answer. Since no points are taken off for wrong answers, answer every question. You'll most likely have plenty of time to finish: Statistics show that the three-hour timeframe for each set of 100 questions is sufficient for 99 percent of all test-takers.

Resource: Click here to order sample MBEs from the NCBE.

The MBE is the only portion of the bar exam whose scoring is centralized and consistent across the country. Your raw score is the number of questions you answered correctly out of a possible 200. In addition to your raw score, however, the NCBE will also report a scaled score that adjusts for variations in the difficulty of your particular exam.

States differ on how heavily they weight MBE performance in the overall score. In most states it makes up about half the total, but South Carolina, for example, only counts it for one-seventh. Though passing requirements vary from state to state, they generally hover around the 130 to 140 scaled-score range. Nationwide, around 60 to 80 percent of applicants pass the MBE.

Local Tests
The local portion of each exam generally comprises a series of essay questions on the laws and their exceptions in the specific state. These essay questions give prospective lawyers the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to reason, analyze, and communicate their conclusions given a set of circumstances within the constraints of state law. In most states, this requires another six-hour day of testing.

Resource: Samples of essay questions from past bar exams are often available on individual state bars' Web sites. Georgia's, for example, is at; New York includes "above-average responses" along with samples of previous questions on its Web site,

Some states also use the NCBE-sponsored MEE and MPT as part of their local testing.

Only 14 jurisdictions, including Hawaii, Missouri, and D.C., use the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) as part of their state-specific essay-question section. Though it's a standardized test, the MEE is scored and evaluated by the state in which it is administered rather than by a central scoring agency. The three-hour exam is made up of six essay questions covering agency and partnership, commercial paper, conflict of laws, corporations, decedents' estates, family law, federal civil procedure, sales, secured transactions, and trusts and future interests. It is administered on the Tuesday before the last Wednesday of February and July.

Resource: Click here to view MEE sample questions.

Twenty-four states, from Alaska to West Virginia, also include one or more of the three 90-minute items in the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) in their state-specific day of testing. And more and more are joining their ranks. New York, Pennsylvania, and Idaho will begin administering the MPT in July 2001. The exam is administered on the Tuesday before and/or the Thursday after the last Wednesday in February and July.

The MPT asks candidates to use their general legal knowledge to perform practical tasks-like writing a memo or a brief-under realistic circumstances. Each MPT includes a "file" (containing a memorandum from a supervising attorney and documents that may or may not be relevant to the case) and a "library" (containing relevant and/or irrelevant cases and statutes). While it does test some legal knowledge, it is primarily a test of the skills that you will use as a lawyer. Like the MEE, the MPT is scored locally.

Resource: Click here to get an idea of what the MPT looks like.

Students usually take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) in November of their third year of law school. It's also administered in March and August. You study for it separately (although most students confess that they don't spend too much time or energy preparing for it).

Essentially, this 50-question, two-hour, multiple-choice exam tests commonsense rules of professional responsibility, and it's considerably more difficult to fail than the more intensive and comprehensive bar exam. Most states have a first-time pass rate of about 90 percent. Maryland, Washington State, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico are the only states that do not require the MPRE.

The score that you receive on the MPRE will be a scaled version-between 50 and 150-of your maximum raw score and is rated according to the test's relative difficulty. Passing scores are determined by the supreme courts in each jurisdiction, so they fluctuate (generally from 75 to 85) from state to state.

While the MPRE is not part of the two- or three-day bar exam itself, a passing score is still necessary to be eligible to practice law in most jurisdictions. Regular registration deadlines are usually about five weeks before the exam date, and the registration fee is $48 (the cost doubles if you register late).

Next page |It's all in the preparation.

This article originally appeared on JD Jungle.


published March 28, 2023

( 153 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.