Bar Exam Resources Guide

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

Helpful Information

Contact us!

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

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. Leila Lawlor at

For questions regarding the bar exam application process or materials, please contact Dean Maria Saez Tatman at

Looking for a Notary?

In the Law School:

Sue Coffey, Lewis Hall 233A (540-458-8981 or

Brittany Fix, Lewis Hall 348 (540-458-8550 or

Victoria Johnston, Lewis Hall 348 (540-458-8544 or

Brianne Kleinert, Lewis Hall 245 (540-458-8567 or

Emma Martone, Lewis Hall 324 (540-458-8541 or

Sheryl Salm, Lewis Hall 105 (540-458-8482 or

Milea Webb, Lewis Hall 322 (540-458-8584 or

Other Notaries on W&L's campus are listed online

LAW 750 – Core Skills and Concepts (3 hrs) - Spring Semester


Open to graduating students; recommended for Virginia applicants. This course will introduce students to the substantive knowledge, thought process, and writing skills needed for success on the Bar Exam. The learning methodology will be iterative, consisting of substantive lectures and materials followed by extensive practice-testing and analysis.

The course will begin by reviewing the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) subjects; the majority of the course will then cover heavily-tested Essay Examination subjects. Practice-testing will use actual MBE and Essay Examination questions, and all substantive materials will be written by the instructor specifically for this course. The course is designed to benefit applicants in all jurisdictions, but will emphasize Virginia-specific rules in order to benefit the greatest number of students.

Students will be able to quantify their progress during the semester, both individually and relative to their peers. All students will also meet individually with the instructor to discuss their progress and specific steps they can take to maximize their odds on the Bar Exam.

Grading will be Pass/No Pass based on timely and complete submission of assignmentsStudents will be expected to complete weekly assignments. Please note that this course is NOT remedial; the course will cover a significant amount of substantive information and will be fast-paced, particularly in the second half of the semester.

Enrollment is limited. If demand exceeds available space, seats will be allocated based on the students whom we believe would benefit most.


What can I expect to gain from the course?

You should expect to learn/review the bulk of substantive law tested on bar exams, improve your ability to think through MBE and essay questions, improve your time management skills, identify specific areas for improvement, and understand how to make optimal use of a commercial review course this summer. 


Is the course remedial?

No. On the contrary, the course will cover a lot of substantive material, some of which will be new. The course will also demand a lot of weekly work. The course is intended to be challenging because bar exams are challenging. 


Will the course help me if I’m a non-Virginia applicant?

Yes. The course will focus on UBE content, as forty-one jurisdictions currently administer the UBE in its entirety. One component of the UBE - the MBE - is currently administered in every U.S. state and territory but Louisiana and Puerto Rico. All applicants will also benefit from the weekly practice-testing, simulated exams, and individual feedback. 


What are the attendance and assignment policies? 

Weekly attendance and weekly assignments are important because the course is iterative (see the course description below). The capacity to manage multiple assignments is also a core competency in first-time bar passage. For this reason, earning credit means a maximum of two unexcused absences or two “late” weeks. 


When does the class meet?

(Spring 2024) Tuesdays & Thursdays from 2:00-3:25 PM. 


Are there other courses that can help me pass the bar exam?

Yes! Courses that will help all applicants include: Core UCC Concepts (or Sales and Secured Transactions), Decedents’ Estates & Trusts, Criminal Procedure-Investigation, Evidence, and Remedies. All Virginia applicants are also strongly advised to take Virginia Procedure. Do not avoid “hard” courses – they can help you pass the bar exam! 


Should I do anything over winter break to get ready? 

Yes. Complete your bar application and Character & Fitness questionnaire (if required before passing the bar exam); chose your spring 3L courses wisely; and organize your summer logistics. 


What if I can’t get a seat in Core Skills?

There is still plenty you can do to improve your odds of passing the bar exam. Professor Lawlor will be glad to talk with any of our students to offer suggestions – just get in touch.


If you have additional questions regarding this course, or related courses, please contact Professor Leila Lawlor at