Law School Classes that Will Prepare You For the Bar Exam: What to Take and What Not to Take!

Should I go to law school if I do not want to practice law?NOTE: If you are taking the Michigan bar exam, click here for a super-detailed post on the law school classes that will prepare you for the bar exam in Michigan. If you are not taking the Michigan bar exam , keep reading!

If you are signing up for your 2L or 3L classes, you may be wondering what law school classes will prepare you for the bar exam. It is wise to take classes that will prepare you for the bar exam as it maximizes your chances of passing the bar exam the first time you take it.

Our advice is as follows: first, try to take any law school class that will prepare you for the MBE − that is, the “multistate bar exam”, or multiple choice portion of the bar exam. Many of these are related to your 1L classes. (Consequently, studying for the MBE will also likely help you on the essay portion of the bar exam, since many times the subjects are double-tested on the MBE and the essay portion.) 

Seven Essential Law School Classes
that will Prepare you for the Bar Exam:

The seven subjects tested on the MBE are Civil Procedure, Contracts & Sales, Criminal Law & Procedure, Torts, Evidence, Real Property, and Constitutional Law. Thus, to prepare for these seven subjects, take the seven classes listed below. Again, since these are “double-tested” on the MBE and many state essay exams, these are the most essential subjects to be familiar with.

  • Evidence
  • Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure
  • Contracts and Sales (and any “Advanced” Contracts and Sales classes your school may offer)
  • Constitutional Law (if your schools offers Constitutional Law 1 and 2, take both!)
  • Real Property (and any related classes – such as Real Estate Law, mortgages, etc.)
  • Torts
  • Civil Procedure

Five Additional Law School Classes
that will Prepare you for the Bar Exam:

Most states also test the following subjects on the essay portion of their bar exam. These are not as “important” as the MBE subjects, above, because they are not double-tested (that is, there is no chance they will be tested on both portions of the bar exam). However, they are still very important as they are frequently tested in many state’s bar exam essays.

  • Wills and Trusts
  • Corporations, Agency, and Partnership (thus any “Business Organizations” class would be a good idea)
  • Secured Transactions
  • Family Law
  • Conflict of Laws

If you are in a UBE (Uniform Bar Exam) jurisdiction that administers the Multistate Essay Exam, then you will see all of the above subjects tested on the essay portion of the exam. Of those subjects, Conflict of Laws is probably the least important of the five subjects above as it is not heavily-tested in many states. If you are in a multistate essay jurisdiction (or UBE jurisdiction) Conflict of Laws is never tested as a standalone subject and is combined with other subjects, when it is tested (which is not frequently!).

Law School Classes that will Likely
Not Prepare you for the Bar Exam:

Fewer states are testing Commercial Paper/Negotiable Instruments (if you are in a UBE or Multistate Essay jurisdiction, it will not be tested at all in the future). Some states, like Florida, recently added Commercial Paper/Negotiable Instruments to their list of subjects that could be tested.

Also, many students have it in their heads that classes about taxes, bankruptcy, or immigration will prepare them for the bar exam. These are not tested on most state bar exams (although check your own state’s website to see what your state does!)

If you have any questions or comments about specific classes that will prepare you for the bar exam in your specific state, feel free to post them below or contact us here. We have access to the bar exam materials of many states and am happy to help you create the best class schedule possible! Good luck registering for classes!

Looking to start early studying for the bar exam?

Starting early can give you a huge advantage! We have a fantastic early bar prep email campaign where we email you one tip a week. Sometimes it is in the form of a blog post. Other times, it is in the form of a video. We give you some of our best tips so you can get a head start on bar exam preparation. You can sign up here:

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Ashley-Heidemann-Profile-382x356Ashley Heidemann scored over a 180 on the Michigan Bar Exam in February of 2011. She, as well as a team of tutors offer private one-on-one tutoring for law students and bar exam students nationwide as well as small-group courses and seminars for the Michigan bar exam  For more information about her Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) or Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) tutoring services, please click here. Please click here to contact her company, with any questions or concerns. 


    Make a Law School Bucket List -- JD Advising

    […] Take classes that will prepare you for the bar exam. It may sound too early to think about the bar exam, but trust me, your future self will thank you for making wise decisions in law school. This is especially the case if you are not a good test taker to begin with or if your state has a low bar exam passage rate. (Wondering what courses will prepare you for the bar exam? See this link.) […]

    What Classes Should I Take in Law School? - JD Advising

    […] see an in-depth overview of which classes will prepare you for the bar exam, please see this post. (We also go into specific details regarding what classes will prepare you for the Uniform Bar […]

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