The Bar Exam is given to law school graduates to practice law in a specified jurisdiction. The bar exam is an examination administered by State Bar Organizations. The State Bar organizations, among other things, regulates the quality of legal services provided in the state. The test is one of the primary instruments by which they do so.
Passing the bar exam is the biggest difficulty to getting a bar license. In some states, there may be other requirements, such as having three years of legal education.
Each state’s bar examination is unique but almost all states use a two day format incorporating the nationally administered Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), a 6-hour, 200 question multiple-choice exam as an element of their test. "State specific" law is often tested on a second day of testing, usually in essay format.
In most jurisdictions, the bar exam is offered twice a year, in February and July.
Purpose of examThe exam is not planned primarily to test information, memory or experience. Its reason is to assist the Society in its mandate to defend the public, not to limit the number of lawyers accepted to practice.
The exam should test the skill of an aspirant to recognize legal issues in a statement of facts, such as may be encountered in the exercise of law, to engage in a reasoned analysis of the issues and to arrive a logical resolution by the application of fundamental legal principles in a way which demonstrates a meticulous understanding of those principles.
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