Becoming a lawyer is not the easy walk in the park that most young people assume it to be. There are a lot of levels that have to be passed before an individual is allowed to become a lawyer. The most important of these is the Bar Exam. This is usually the final test before getting licensed as a lawyer in most states, including Arizona, where the az bar exam is mandatory.
We will be discussing the structure of these bar exams for the benefit of anyone who may be thinking of taking a bar exam soon.
The Bar Exam Overview
All law students are subjected to a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) that is spread out over two days. Each day is designated for specific types of tests, all geared towards ensuring that only the most qualified get the chance to appear before a court in the future as attorneys of the law.
The first day usually consists of a Multistate Performance Test and Multistate Essay Exam. These two tests come in the form of six MEE questions and two MBE essay-type questions. The second day of the exam is the most intense as there are over 200 multichoice questions that the candidates are subjected to. To pass the Bar Exam, one has to get a combined grade of 273 points.
This grading is the same as the one being used for UBE. Overall, each of the three tests has its amount of points that combine to give the student the needed passmark, MPT accounts for 20% of the total grade, MBE accounts for 50%, while MEE accounts for 30%. The total points are 400. Once the tests are done, the final results are about nine weeks to be communicated back to the students.
Another important piece of information for those thinking of taking the Bar Exam is that there’s another pre-test that one must take before qualifying for the ABR. This is called the MPRE, and the student is required to hit at least 85% or higher for them to be considered ready to sit for the Bar Exam. The path to becoming a fully-fledged lawyer follows a very defined path. It all begins with completing an undergrad college program, attaining the best marks possible in the LSAT, graduating from a reputable law school program, acing the MRPE, and finally sitting for the Bar Exam.
Subjects Tested on the Bar Exam
Each of the three tests comes with their subjects that are designed to test the different strengths of each student. The subjects tested are briefly outlined below.
- Civil Procedure
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law and Procedure
- Real Property
- Constitutional Law
- Conflict of Laws
- Family Law
- Criminal Law
- Civil Procedure
- Real Property
- Business Associations
Grading and Scoring
Each test that is administered by the Bar Exam is graded by different bodies at each junction. The MBE is graded by a body called the NCBE. MEE is graded by a body called Jurisdictions. The two monitor tests, MEE and MPT, are then scaled up to the MBE, while the total points that the student is regarded with are finally calculated by the NCBE.
By combining all these bodies and adding more structures to the grading, the Bar Exam ensures that people get the fairest grading that ensures they attain exactly what they worked towards.
Taking the bar exam is not free. It will cost you a significant amount of money depending on the time you chose to register for them. There are three stairs of registration fees that are based on the time you hand in your registration and the type of equipment used.
There’s a Timely Application Fee that is about $580.
There’s the Late Application Fee that will set you back about $680
Then there’s the Laptop Computer Fee that is about $125
The exam is held twice every year. The first one is between the 25th and 26th of February and the second one is between the 27th and 28th of July. To be able to book an early slot for the exam, students are required to make a timely filing by March 31st for the July exam and by the 31st of October for the February exam.
Late filing is only accepted up to April 30th and November 30th, respectively.
The exam is administered to students over the course of two days, twice a year. Each day sees two tests are given in the morning and the afternoon. The first test is six essays that are based on any subject and take about 3hrs. The second test of the first day is a 3hr two performance test. The second day begins with 100 MBE questions that take another 3 hours in the morning. This is then followed up by another 100 MBE questions in the afternoon that also take 3hrs.
The results take about nine weeks and are usually released in May for the first exam and in October for the second one. Passing these exams comes with many advantages that set you on a good path towards becoming an established attorney in the future. These advantages include the following.
- You get to enter the workforce immediately as there’s always a massive demand for high-flying lawyers who attain good marks. The tests are never that easy, so passing sets the student apart.
- It reduces the overall cost that is commonly associated with post-graduation bar study.
- It allows you the time to take another exam in another jurisdiction if you have the will and the means.
Bar exams are never that easy, but neither are they too hard for anyone who knows what they are after. They are layered in a bid to ensure that the people who pass it are well seasoned and ready to take on the world. For more information on bar exams and the things you need to do, visit https://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/bar-admissions/bar-exams.
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