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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


TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.   Advanced Analytical Skills and MBE Strategies
For-Credit Supplemental Bar Preparation Courses
 
II.   Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam
III.   The UBE
IV.   Taking a Concurrent Bar Exam
V.   Commercial Bar Preparation Courses
VI.   Recommendations
VII.   Financial Resources
VIII.   Important Web Sites

I. Advanced Analytical Skills and MBE Strategies

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 substantive topics, learn methods by which to review the tested areas of law, write outlines, and complete practice essays, Multistate Performance Test questions and multiple-choice exam questions; students will receive feedback on all written answers.

In MBE Strategies, students will review the most heavily-tested areas of law on the MBE portion of the bar exam.  They will complete numerous practice questions and develop the skills necessary to answer the most difficult multiple choice questions.

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 UBE

Beginning with the July 2016 administration, NY will be using the Uniform Bar Exam as the bar exam for the state.

The Exam is administered each February and July.

A content outline and a description of the exam and its components can be found at ncbex.org
 

New York Scoring:

6 Essays 

30%    120 points

2 MPT's

20%      80 points

200 MBE  

50%   200 points

 

     400 points

A minimum passing score is 266

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. 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 50%.

V. 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 at least four commercial Bar courses in the New York area that offer full-time study programs. 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), Kaplan/PMBR (www.kaptest.com), and Themis Bar Review (themisbar.com) student representatives are often in our law school cafeteria during the school year. Research all programs to learn about each course and how the various courses differ.

Many students opt to hire individual tutors in addition to studying with a commercial bar review course.  The following tutors have had success with Pace Students:

Individual Tutoring

VI. 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 MBE strategies and MPT questions
  • Enroll in our free Supplemental Bar Skills Program to get additional skills support and detailed feedback on your practice essay and MBE answers.
  • Take as many Bar tested courses as possible
  • Plan on studying at least 8-10 hours per day
  • 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

VII. 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. The Bursar can provide you with much information about financial aid.

LENDERS

Discover Student Loans
https://www.discover.com/student-loans/

Sallie Mae
https://www.salliemae.com/student-loans/bar-study-loan/

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

VIII. Important Web Sites