Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
An examination for law school graduates who want a license to practice law. Once licensed in a particular state, an attorney can practice law in that state and in federal courts in that state. If the attorney moves to another state, he or she will need to take that state’s bar exam, unless the new state allows the attorney to practice without further examination after he or she has established legal residence. Lawyers from one state may occasionally practice in another with the consent of the court alone. Typically, bar exams are multi-day tests of endurance and knowledge, covering a wide range of legal topics.
The bar examination is the test which a law school graduate must pass to obtain a license to practice law. It is used to determine if a graduate is qualified to practice law in a specific jurisdiction.
The bar is offered several times per year, but most law school graduates wait until they have graduated from law school to take it. The test differs by state but generally lasts two or three days. For most states, one day consists of a portion covering state law and the second day is for the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). Requirements for bar admission change over time and each state has its own deadline for application. For more information, you can visit your state’s bar office website.
In the US, the examination given in each state by either the highest court or, if an “integrated” bar, by the state bar association (subject to appeal to the State Supreme Court) for admission as an attorney. The examinations vary in difficulty, but most include up to three days of questions, many of which are essay type posing factual situations which call upon an ability to identify and analyze the legal “issues” and to demonstrate substantial knowledge of various areas of the law. Usually, there are some multiple-choice or true and false questions, depending on the state. The pass/fail rate varies from state to state and year to year. Some states, like California, have a pass rate of below 60 per cent of applicants, but do allow several tries. Other states pass 90 per cent. To qualify one must have received a law degree (LLB or JD) from an established law school or, in seven states, prove that he/she studied for several years in law school and/or with an attorney. Very few graduates ever pass the examination. Some states require a special bar examination for attorneys from other states, while others recognize out-of-state attorneys if they have established local residence. Passing a state’s bar examination will automatically qualify the attorney to practice in the federal courts in that district.
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This glossary post was last updated: 26th April, 2020 | 1 Views.