Bar Exam Resources Guide

This Guide was created to assist W&L law students in preparing for the bar exam.

Contact Us

For additional information on print and electronic resources available to you and the information on this Guide, please contact a librarian at LawRef@wlu.edu

For additional information on W&L bar courses, the bar exam components, studying assistance and tips, creating a bar exam study schedule, etc., please contact Prof. Reid Flinn at FlinnCR@wlu.edu

For questions regarding the bar exam application process or materials, please contact Dean Trenya Mason at MasonT@wlu.edu

COVID-19 UPDATE: 

This Bar Exam Guide will be updated each Friday from April 1, 2020 until August 1, 2020 to reflect any changes, cancelations, or alterations to the bar exam timelines/deadlines set forth in this Guide. Please check back weekly for your jurisdiction's recent news. 

For jurisdictions not covered in this Guide, or for daily updates, you can also visit the NCBE's COVID-19 Updates page

 

 

Congratulations! The end is in sight. You are now starting to wind down with your coursework and to think about what lies ahead: the bar exam. 

This Guide is intended to connect students with the many resources available here at W&L Law as they navigate 3L year and begin to prepare for the bar exam. Some resources covered in this Guide include courses offered at W&L Law, study tips and resources, details on the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE), details and topics covered in each of the relevant bar exam components, the Patent Bar Exam, etc. 

One thing to always remember: You are not alone. We at W&L Law are always here to help and support you. Our goal is not to just help you survive these exams; we want to help you succeed. Please see the “Contact Us” box on the left for some guidance on where to direct your questions or concerns.

Creating a Game Plan

As 3L year begins and you make your way towards graduation, it is time to create a strategy to ensure you are ready and prepared for what lies ahead. You may be asking yourself: The bar exam is approaching, what can/do I do now? Here are some FAQs and tips that may come up as you create a game plan:

  1. Which jurisdiction’s bar exam should I take?This is not an uncommon question. If you are not sure, consider some of the following: Where have you taken a position? What type of work do you want to do? Where would you like to live? Where do you have connections or a network? 
  2. Understand the exam and exam process within your jurisdiction. We often speak generically of “the bar exam,” but exams differ significantly by jurisdiction. Once you’ve selected a jurisdiction, become familiar with the exam: deadlines, filing fees, exam contents (i.e., UBE or MBE + MPT/Essay and the subjects tested), scoring, historical coverage, and relative competitiveness. For a basic overview of the entire bar exam process, please see the Bar Exam Orientation document
  3. Choose 3L (or 2L) courses to help you maximize your preparation. Nearly all bar exams involve the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) component. The MBE covers civil procedure, contracts, property, constitutional law, evidence, criminal law and procedure, and torts. Additionally, the majority of jurisdictions also have an essay or PT portion of their exam that tests additional subject matter. While you have already taken many of these “core” courses, you may wish to consider taking additional courses that are also tested within your jurisdiction either on the MBE or the essays/MPT. For example: Criminal Procedure–Investigation, Business Associations, Core UCC Concepts, Decedents’ Estates & Trusts, Family Law, Remedies, Sales, and Secured Transactions. For more information, please see the MBE page or various jurisdictions of this Guide.
  4. Complete your exam application and Character & Fitness questionnaire. Completing the examination application and character and fitness questionnaire are both very time consuming. It is wise to complete these early to free up valuable time later and help avoid last minute hiccups. Make sure you note the deadline for these various applications/forms and have your information compiled and ready ahead of schedule. 
  5. Create a plan for after graduation.Decide where you plan to live while studying for the bar exam. Will you stay in Lexington? Return home? Relocate to a new city with friends? Do you have housing/accommodations for the bar exam in July? Make reservations early. Finalize the start date with your employer and make living arrangements for the time between the bar exam and your start date. The more you plan ahead, the more productive your study time will be. If you are concerned about finances, take a look at the Financial Planning Tip document.
  6. Schedule weekly, or bi-weekly, “check-in” times throughout the spring semester and into the summer. The single biggest challenge for most applicants is trying to learn a high volume of technical information while working through lots of practice questions in a few short months. It is often described as “drinking from a fire hose.” However, there is a better way: Get ahead of the learning curve by beginning some of your review in the spring semester, or before your bar prep course begins, in order to allow for more practice testing throughout the summer. Consistent and sufficient daily practice is the key to passing. Begin by using your scheduled “check-in” times to create a study schedule and then use them to begin your review. Create a schedule and stick to it!
  7. OK, I have a game plan… How can I study before I’m even in a review course? For the MBE, working through both volumes of Emanuel’s Strategies & Tactics for the MBE takes no more than 3 hours per week. Both volumes are available in print in the Law Library Reserve Room on Level 3. In addition, the Examples & Explanations and Questions & Answers series are good sources of hypos and multiple-choice questions. They too are available in the Reserve Room on Level 3. For the essay portion of the exam, the Law Library has commercial bar review outlines from several jurisdictions in the Law Library Bar Success Collection on Level 3 in the quiet area. Additionally, many state bar websites post previous essay questions and sample/model answers. Links to previous exams are available on some of the jurisdiction pages of this Guide. For those jurisdictions that give the Universal Bar Exam (UBE), the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) post sample questions, answers, and point sheets from the MEEMPT, and MBE. Additionally, links to previous exams in particular jurisdictions are available on the jurisdiction pages of this Guide.

 

Now that you have a game plan, you are ready to jump right in!