About the Blogger

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I am a 3L originally from Poughkeepsie, NY. I graduated from Binghamton University (SUNY) with my B.A. in 2005 and my M.A. in 2007 both in Political Science. I spent the 2 years between finishing my MA and deciding to go to law school as a Student Affairs Administrator and an Adjunct Professor...

Peter's Post

Bar Exam: The Final Frontier

Posted by Peter Eraca on 09/15/2012 at 03:11 PM

Outside of required classes, there is one commonality that binds all law schools and law students together: the bar exam. It is the final rite of passage for attorneys, and the most dreaded portion of legal education. Although I have not posted in some time, I feel as though this portion of the law school experience deserves some exposition, and I will do so by giving a few (probably too many) pieces of advice.

 First, you generally do not need to pick which bar exam you sit for until you are a 3L. Its alright to keep your options open.

Second, you can take two bars at once so long as the “local” (non-MBE) day is not on the same day in each state. Each state generally has a two-day bar exam, one being the local day and the other being the MBE day. It is physically impossible to be in two states at once to take two local days at once. Therefore, be sure to check whether you can or cannot do it.

Third, you will need a commercial bar prep course. It is a sad fact of life that this is the case, but you need to. While yes, people have passed the bar exam prior to BarBri and Kaplan (among others), there is too much riding on the bar exam to take anything lightly.

Fourth, do not disregard the MPRE. If your state requires it, take the exam with enough time to have one or two more shots at getting the required score for your chosen state before the exam. Most states require the exam and many of those states require it before you sit for the bar itself.

Fifth, do not underestimate the MBE, it is the hardest multiple choice exam you will ever take. Plenty of people will have advice for you on how to succeed, my only advice is don’t underestimate it.

Sixth, apply to the bar exam early. Each year 3Ls wait to the last minute to apply to the bar and each year 2Ls watch 3Ls regret doing that because many bar exams want to know every detail of your life (and subsequently those 2Ls will repeat history). Look at the applications and begin to collect the documents early.