Tips for Law Students taking the Uniform Bar Exam
In this post, we give some tips to law students taking the Uniform Bar Exam. These are tips that you can use in law school to maximize your chances of passing the Uniform Bar Exam the first time you take it.
Tips for Law Students taking the Uniform Bar Exam
1. Take bar related classes.
The best way to prepare for the bar exam early is to take bar related classes in law school. This is one of our top tips for law students taking the Uniform Bar Exam (or any bar exam, for that matter). It is much easier to learn, say, Evidence, over the course of the semester than it is to learn it in two days of bar prep!
If you are looking for a detailed overview of which classes you should take – and which ones are less important – check out this post on classes to prepare you for the Uniform Bar Exam.
2. Take classes or gain experience that will help you with the practice of law.
20% of your total Uniform Bar Exam score will be based on how you perform on the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) portion of the exam. The MPT portion consists of two MPT tasks where you will be asked to write a brief, a memo, a letter (a demand letter or client letter), or something else altogether. It does not test your knowledge of the law. It tests these lawyerly skills!
So the best way to prepare for this is to gain these lawyerly skills ahead of time.
Any class, clinic, internship, or job that will give you experience drafting briefs, memos, or letters will help you with this portion of the exam.
3. Figure out how you best study.
You are learning a lot about yourself and how you study in law school.
- How do you learn your outlines best? Do you learn best from re-writing outlines? Or saying them out loud? Or making your own?
- Do you prefer to study with a study group?
- Do you learn well from attending lecture?
- Do you prefer personalized help or are large-group settings okay?
- Do you prefer to hand something in for accountability? Or are you good at keeping yourself accountable?
Take an inventory of what works well for you and what doesn’t.
This will help you in two ways:
- First, it will help you choose a bar review course that fits you best (discussed next).
- Second, when you study for the bar exam, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If something worked for you in the past, it will work for you in the future. Keep doing what works! Figuring out what works (and what doesn’t) ahead of time will help you with this.
4. Carefully review your bar prep course options before committing.
Some bar review courses coerce students into signing harsh contracts early on in their 1L or 2L year and promise some sort of discount because of the early commitment. (Some law schools are cracking down on this predatory practice!) The problem is that you often cannot get out of your contract once it is signed. And you will never see your deposit money again even if you are able to somehow get out of your contract.
So don’t commit to a course until you have reviewed all course options. Many students think that Barbri is the only course option available. And it might be a fine fit for you, particularly if you don’t mind prerecorded lectures and their teaching methodology. But if you are looking for something different, explore different programs as well. You can see how our JD Advising bar review course compares with some of the big-box commercial courses like Barbri, here.
5. Make sure you know your state’s requirements ahead of time.
Some states will require you graduate from law school to take the bar exam. Other states will let you take it before graduating.
Some states will require you to pass the MPRE (or even pass character and fitness entirely) before taking the bar exam. Other states do not have this requirement (but may limit the number of times you can take the bar exam before passing character and fitness).
Be well aware of your state requirements ahead of time in case there is anything you must do now to make sure you are eligible to take the bar exam.
6. Explore options your law school provides.
Law schools care a lot about their students passing the bar exam, especially as bar exam pass rates have plummetted. Many of them offer free or reduced-price options. Here are some things your law school may offer:
- A bar director who can answer your questions about the bar exam and application process
- A bar review course for 2Ls or 3Ls (these vary in effectiveness and some are more useful than others)
- Bar assistance options while you study (e.g., your law school may administer a mock bar exam, or provide you with extra resources)
- Discounted options (we work with several law schools that provide discount codes for our products like our MEE one-sheets, MBE one-sheets, and some even pay for our full courses!
See what options your law school provides to see if you want to incorporate them into your bar study plan.
Good luck preparing for the Uniform Bar Exam early!
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