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Preparing for the Bar Exam

It is our belief that each graduate from Pace University School of Law can pass the Bar exam the first time. The key to passing the Bar exam is preparation. It is never too early to start preparing for this milestone in your legal career. The Academic Success Staff, the Faculty and the Administration are all here to assist you.

The following is an overview of the resources available.

Click here to read the New York Lawyer Assistance Trust brochure regarding the character and fitness requirements for admission to the practice of law in New York State.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. 

Danielle Bifulci Kocal
Director of Academic Success
Elizabeth Corwin
Associate Director, Academic Success


TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.   Advanced Analytical Skills 
For–Credit Supplemental Bar Preparation Course
 
II.   Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam
III.   The New York Bar Exam
IV.   The Multistate Bar Exam
V.   Taking a Concurrent Bar Exam
VI.   Important Dates and Deadlines
VII.   Commercial Bar Preparation Courses
VIII.   Recommendations 
IX.   Bar Exam Preparation TWEN Site
X.   Financial Resources
XI.   Important Web Sites

I. Advanced Analytical Skills 

Pace Law School is proud to be among the first law schools in the country to offer a for-credit supplemental Bar preparation course.

Advanced Analytical Skills builds on the analytical, writing and organizational skills necessary to enhance a student’s ability to prepare for the Bar exam. Students will become thoroughly familiar with the format and components of the Bar exam. Students will review and outline some substantive topics, learn methods by which to review the tested areas of law, write outlines, complete practice essays, complete Multistate Performance Test questions, multiple choice exam questions and receive feedback on written answers.

Students will learn to apply the critical skill of legal analysis writing. They will improve their ability to analyze facts, use legal authorities to identify the issues and sub-issues presented by a problem, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of legal arguments. Students' writing skills will be developed through an emphasis on audience assessment and attention to legal and factual analytical reasoning. Memorization skills, time management and stress management techniques will also be taught.

II. Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam

In addition to the Bar Exam, New York Bar Exam candidates must pass the MPRE before they are admitted to practice.

The MPRE is a two hour and five minute exam consisting of 60 multiple choice questions designed to test your knowledge and understanding of ethical standards of the legal profession. The exam is offered every March, August and November and should be taken before you take the Bar Exam. New York requires a score of 85 on the MPRE. Scores are scaled and range from 50 to 150, with an average of approximately 100. A raw score of approximately 32 correct out of 50 converts to a scaled score of 85.

Section 520.12 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York requires applicants to file the materials required for admission to the Bar within three years from the date of the initial letter sent by the Board of Law Examiners notifying the applicant of having passed the Bar examination. Thus, any applicant who has not taken and passed the MPRE at the time of receipt of notification of having passed the Bar examination must pass the MPRE and be certified by the Board to the Supreme Court, Appellate Division within three years.

Students should take the MPRE well in advance of the Bar exam. They should plan to devote approximately 25 hours to preparing for the MPRE.  Additional information about the MPRE is available at www.ncbex.org

III. The New York Bar Exam

The New York Bar Exam is administered each February and July. 

The Schedule:

Day 1 - New York Portion

9:00 – 12:15 3 Essays 40 minutes each
  50 Multiple Choice 1.5 minutes each
1:30 - 4:30 2 Essays 45 minutes each
  Multistate Performance Test    90 minutes

Day 2 – MBE Portion 

9:00 - 12:15 100 Multiple Choice 1.8 minutes each
1:30 – 4:30 100 Multiple Choice 1.8 minutes each

Day 3 – Second State (optional) 

New York Subjects Tested:

  • All MBE Subjects and NY distinctions
  • Agency
  • Partnerships & Corporations
  • No Fault Insurance
  • Workers Compensation
  • Conflict of Laws
  • New York Constitutional Law
  • Family Law
  • Remedies
  • NY and Federal Civil Jurisdiction and Procedure
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Trusts, Wills and Estates

New York Scoring:

5 Essays 

40%    400 points

50 NY MC  

10%   100 points

1 MPT 

10%   100 points

200 MBE  

40%   400 points

 

  1,000 points

A minimum passing score is 665

The Multi-state Performance Test:

The MPT is a 90 minute assignment designed to test the Bar candidates ability to use fundamental lawyering skills in a realistic situation. A Case File and a Library are provided along with an assignment such as write a memo, a brief, a statement of fact or a will. Sample MPT Questions can be downloaded at www.ncbex.org

IV. The Multistate Bar Exam

The MBE consists of 200 multiple choice questions from the following subjects:

  • Contracts – 34 Questions
  • Torts – 34 Questions
  • Constitutional Law – 33 Questions
  • Criminal Law & Procedure – 33 Questions
  • Evidence – 33 Questions
  • Real Property – 33 Questions

V. Taking a Concurrent Bar Exam

Concurrent Bar Exams can be taken in states including Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

The most common concurrent exam taken by Pace Law School graduates is New Jersey. The exam for the second state is taken on the third day of the examination period, after the New York exam and the MBE exam.

  • The New Jersey Exam consists of 7 essays worth 65%.

VI. Important Dates and Deadlines

Please refer to the Academic Success - Bar Exam Preparation TWEN site for important Bar exam related dates and deadlines.

VII. Commercial Bar Preparation Courses

A commercial Bar course, which runs for approximately eight weeks prior to the Bar exam, is necessary for you to review what you have already learned in law school and to learn Bar tested subjects that you have not yet studied. The commercial Bar courses are familiar with what is tested and how it is tested. Your commercial course will provide you with materials and a study plan to help you prepare for the exam.

There are three commercial Bar courses in the New York area that offer a full time study program. It is best for you to research each of them and determine which is best for you and your learning style. BarBri Bar Review (www.nybarbri.com), Pieper Bar Review (www.pieperbar.com), and Kaplan/PMBR (www.kaptest.com) student representatives are often in our law school cafeteria during the school year. Research all three programs to learn about each course and how the various courses differ.

Many students opt to participate in additional commercial prep programs. The following programs would be taken in conjunction with a full time course.
 

MBE Supplemental Prep Courses:

  • Kaplan/PMBR (www.kaptest.com)
    1-800-523-0777
    In addition to the full time course, offers three and six day MBE-only courses. Practice questions and tutorials are designed to supplement a comprehensive Bar preparation course.

  • Multistate Edge (http://multistateedge.com)
    1-800-BAR-EXAM
    Software providing study materials and 2,300 practice MBE-type questions.

  • AdaptiBar (www.adaptibar.com)
    1-877-466-1250
    Provides students with practice questions, outlines, and flashcards that expose you to the content tested on the Bar exam. Offers a money back guarantee, with restrictions.

  • Pass Your Bar (www.passyourbar.com)
    1-800-852-3926
    Various software and study aids available.

  • MyBarPrep (www.mybarprep.com)
    Software providing study materials and timed MBE exams.

  • The Study Group (www.studygroup.com)
    1-800-239-2349
    Software providing 900 Simulated Practice Questions.

  • Emanuel Bar Review (www.adaptibar.com)
    1-888-951-0309
    Offers Bar-in-a-Box, which provides a comprehensive set of Bar Review materials for MBE exams.

Essay Writing Supplemental Prep Courses:

Individual Tutoring

  • Law Preps (www.lawpreps.com)
    Offers one-on-one tutoring customized for the student’s needs

VIII. Recommendations

  • Completely clear your schedule for the eight weeks prior to the Bar exam
  • Enroll in Advanced Analytical Skills to jump start your Bar preparation, demystify the Bar exam and receive feedback on actual Bar exam essays and MPT questions
  • Take as many Bar tested courses as possible
  • Plan on studying at least 8-10 hours per week
  • Take a comprehensive commercial Bar preparation course and attend every lecture
  • Consider taking a supplement to your comprehensive commercial Bar preparation course
  • Take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam well in advance of the Bar exam

IX. Bar Preparation TWEN Site

Check the Academic Success - Bar Preparation TWEN site regularly for:

  • Important Bar related dates and deadlines
  • The Academic  Support Program’s Bar Exam Preparation Workshop Series schedule, as well as links to video recordings of the workshops<

X. Financial Resources 

Taking time off to prepare for the Bar exam can create financial hardships. The cost of the array of Bar preparation courses can also add up quickly. Loans specifically for this purpose are available from many lending sources. The following is a list of several Bar Loan providers.

LENDERS

Citibank
800-745-5473
www.studentloan.com/law

Sallie Mae
800-984-0190
www.salliemae.com/lawloans

Wells Fargo
800-378-5526
https://www.wellsfargo.com
*must bank with Wells Fargo to qualify*

XI. Important Web sites