Easiest bar exams

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Wholigan
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby Wholigan » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:39 pm

bbmic45 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
bbmic45 wrote:Define limited. For example, if you're planning on working full-time or have similar commitments, I think it'd be very tough to pass any bar exam, even the "easiest" ones.


Curious about everyone's thoughts on this, I've worked for a bulge bracket bank throughout lawschool but I don't want to endanger my big law potential offer after my summer so I was wondering how much you actually need to study beyond barbri... I would probably take off for 2-3 weeks for the exam but do you guys think that's sufficient? I historically do well on exams with shorter than average prep times. It'd be pretty challengting to have to quit early to take the exam as several months pay is pretty significant when you have a significant other plus kids at home... That said, no debt etc. so I can probably survive if I had to take off but I'd prefer to keep working through the prep financially...

This would be NY bar with a 50+ hour a week job.


I'm sure it's been done, which doesn't mean that it should be. The bar exam isn't hard in that the concepts are not all that hard and you only have to get roughly two-thirds right to be fine on most of them. However, the sheer amount of information you have to memorize makes cramming very very difficult. Bar prep companies recommend around 6 hours a day of study (that's 6 hours of actual quality studying, not 6 hours in front of your books) for 8 weeks. You can get away with a bit less than that, but not much less. This isn't like undergrad where you can cram before finals.

I'm a good test-taker and have always done well on standardized tests with moderate preparation. I passed on my first try in NY. I did 6 hrs a day (usu took Sunday off) for 8 weeks and still felt like there was not enough time. 50 hour work week while bar studying, even if you could take 2 weeks off, seems to be highly inadvisable. I wouldn't feel comfortable pulling more than a 20-30 hour work week and even that would be dicey.


There were several pre-clerks summering at my (NY) firm last year who worked from mid May - mid/late June. I understand they did the barbri videos at night after work. I doubt the firms would let people do this if it resulted in them failing the bar, but I haven't taken the bar yet, so I will defer to you and others posting ITT who have already done so.

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howell
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby howell » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:53 pm

stratocophic wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:GEORGIA
Elaborate

Here are the stats. For the main in-state schools (Emory, UGA, GSU, and Mercer), the first time taker pass rate is over 90%. I took it this summer while working 25-30 hours per week. I don't know if I mentioned one Georgia distinction on the exam, and I passed by a comfortable margin. The essay grading is pretty generous. Just focusing on the MBE and being able to at least recognize issues in the state subject should be enough.

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stratocophic
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby stratocophic » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:07 pm

howell wrote:
stratocophic wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:GEORGIA
Elaborate

Here are the stats. For the main in-state schools (Emory, UGA, GSU, and Mercer), the first time taker pass rate is over 90%. I took it this summer while working 25-30 hours per week. I don't know if I mentioned one Georgia distinction on the exam, and I passed by a comfortable margin. The essay grading is pretty generous. Just focusing on the MBE and being able to at least recognize issues in the state subject should be enough.
Aw hell yeah. Congrats on passing and bless you kind sir

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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:34 pm

DC doesn't have state law, seems like that would qualify. I work for fed govt in DC so it was a no-brainer as opposed to state where I went to law school. Took Barbri, started really studying in July, but focused hard on mbe and passed. 1st time pass rate usually hovers around 75%.

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stratocophic
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby stratocophic » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:DC doesn't have state law, seems like that would qualify. I work for fed govt in DC so it was a no-brainer as opposed to state where I went to law school. Took Barbri, started really studying in July, but focused hard on mbe and passed. 1st time pass rate usually hovers around 75%.
Isn't the DC bar the one where everyone just takes VA and waives in a year later

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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:53 pm

It seems like you're asking whether a lot of people take the DC bar as opposed to waiving in from another jurisdiction...the answer is yes, most people waive into DC from other jurisdictions...each cycle no more than 500 people sit for the exam.  It's all a matter of preference...I have no ties to Virginia or Maryland and no desire to work there either and I had a job in dc and there's no state law to learn.  Plus, waiving in takes about 6 months to a year because of the backlog and the voluminous numbe of applications to waive in.

CyLaw
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby CyLaw » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It seems like you're asking whether a lot of people take the DC bar as opposed to waiving in from another jurisdiction...the answer is yes, most people waive into DC from other jurisdictions...each cycle no more than 500 people sit for the exam.  It's all a matter of preference...I have no ties to Virginia or Maryland and no desire to work there either and I had a job in dc and there's no state law to learn.  Plus, waiving in takes about 6 months to a year because of the backlog and the voluminous numbe of applications to waive in.


Correct me if I am wrong, but I understand that DC does not allow laptops; you either have to hand write or use an typewriter. This may be another reason why some do not take the DC exam directly.
Last edited by CyLaw on Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:23 pm

Yes, this is true. Sad and unfortunate and speaks volumes about DC govt (the court administers the bar exam). One person actually brought a typewriter to the exam, they were in a separate room however.

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stratocophic
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby stratocophic » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:19 pm

CyLaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It seems like you're asking whether a lot of people take the DC bar as opposed to waiving in from another jurisdiction...the answer is yes, most people waive into DC from other jurisdictions...each cycle no more than 500 people sit for the exam.  It's all a matter of preference...I have no ties to Virginia or Maryland and no desire to work there either and I had a job in dc and there's no state law to learn.  Plus, waiving in takes about 6 months to a year because of the backlog and the voluminous numbe of applications to waive in.


Correct me if I am wrong, but I understand that DC does not allow laptops; you either have to hand write or use an typewriter. This may be another reason why some do not take the DC exam directly.

Yeah that must be what I was thinking of, everyone waives in because screw handwriting.

DesperadoOfColumbia
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby DesperadoOfColumbia » Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:27 pm

In case anyone is still reading this:

a) I'm at a firm that definitely lets me use their facilities to study after work, but the problem is you don't really want to sit around until 10-11 and my supervisor gave me time off. I rented a cheap coworking 24 hour space but ultimately studied mostly at home - I did all the practice exams at the coworking space. My supervisor gave me time off but I still worked with current clients, one of them even gave me a card.

b) Laptops are in for DC. For some reason pass rate is super low, but the test doesn't have any additional elements. Barbri completion is laughably low. I'm not sure what's going on there. I'm taking the DC bar mostly because a) it's shorter than NY and b) I'll be working in a fed-only field, but that's just bizarre.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:06 pm

I did a chart for almost all jurisdictions ranking the difficulty of each state's bar exam as determined from minimum MBE (or UBE equivalent) score required. Without the list at hand, I recall that the most difficult bar exam is Delaware, followed by California. Oregon also has a high standard. New York ranked as the 30th most difficult & this was confirmed somewhat by their recent adoption of the UBE.
Hopefully, I can locate the list in the next few minutes.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:22 pm

I'll try to reconstruct the list of state bar exams from most difficult to easiest.

1) Delaware
2) California
3) Oregon
4) Alaska, Idaho, Nevada & Virginia

8) North Carolina
9) Colorado, Maine & Rhode Island

12) Arizona
13) Florida & Pennsylvania

15) Maryland

16) Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia & Wyoming

31) Hawaii
32) DC, Iowa, Kansas, New Jersey& New York

37) Guam
38) Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana & Mississippi

42) Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota & South Dakota

47) Alabama
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Killingly
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby Killingly » Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:26 pm

Isn't NY switching to the UBE for July 2016, theoretically making it easier? Idk.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:29 pm

New York MBE minimum required score was always fairly low (about 32nd on a most difficult list). Some might find it easier since UBE does not require state specific knowledge.

In one sense, the UBE makes New York's bar exam a touch more difficult because, to the best of my knowledge & belief, UBE states do not allow for regrading of essays. (Many state bars not using the UBE allow regrading of essays for those failing by a point or two.)
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:31 pm

Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina & Vermont are not on my list because they do not use the MBE & are not UBE states.

Same for the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Puerto Rico & the Virgin Islands.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:42 pm

I think that my list is better & more accurate than lists which just use passing rates because of the clearly objective standard (MBE minimum passing score) that I used.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:48 pm

As a side-note, the last time that I spoke with the Alabama Bar folks, they told me that they would soon be raising the minimum passing score. That was about a year ago.

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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:57 pm

With respect to the MPRE (a separate ethics exam), Utah & California require the highest score.

1) California & Utah 86

2) Nineteen (19) states require an 85.

3) Sixteen (16) states & two (2) territories require an 80.

4) New Hampshire 79

5) South Carolina 77

6) Nine (9) states, DC & two (2) territories require a 75.

Maryland & Wisconsin do not require the MPRE. Same regarding Puerto Rico.

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Killingly
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby Killingly » Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:00 pm

^ CT doesn't require MPRE either.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:02 pm

My list has Connecticut requiring an 80 on the MPRE--but that list was compiled in 2013.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:05 pm

Based on the list of most difficult to easiest bar exams, Hawaii might be a nice option for those not in need of joining a specific jurisdiction.

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Killingly
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby Killingly » Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:08 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:My list has Connecticut requiring an 80 on the MPRE--but that list was compiled in 2013.


It's been changed. Need an 80 on the MPRE (I think) or a C or better in professional responsibility course.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:10 am

Connecticut & New Jersey both require either the MPRE (score of 80 or above in Conn. & score of 75 or above in New Jersey) or a passing grade (C or Pass) in a law school ethics/professional responsibility course.

While Wisconsin & Maryland do not use the MPRE, ethics/professional responsibility is included as a subject area on their bar exams.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:32 am

OP: Regarding your question about which bar exam is the easiest, the answer is probably Alabama--which is a UBE (Uniform Bar Exam) state. But be careful of UBE exams as several of the 16 UBE jurisdictions have extra state specific requirements. For example, Montana requires attendance at a two (2) day seminar before being eligible to take the oath. Arizona requires an online course. Alabama has a separate 3 hour essay examination given the day prior to the UBE exam. Missouri requires an open book online exam. Washington state requires an online open book exam. I believe that New York may also require a state specific supplemental test, although I am not certain.

New York & New Jersey have fairly low passing scores. New Jersey is a bit easier due to the ability to waive the MPRE exam if you took & passed an ethics/professional responsibility course during law school. New York, however, is now a Uniform Bar Exam jurisdiction so it's almost like taking 16 bars at once; even if you fail to achieve a passing score for New York, your score may be sufficient for Alabama (another UBE jurisdiction).

Of the 16 jurisdictions administering the UBE, the easiest are 1) Alabama, 2) Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota & 3) New York. So even if you do not achieve a passing score for New York, your failing New York UBE score may be sufficient for Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri or North Dakota.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Easiest bar exams

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:39 am

Although not applicable to OP, the easiest bar exam is no bar exam required. Graduates of Marquette & University of Wisconsin law schools do not have to take a bar exam to become eligible to join the Wisconsin State Bar.
Also, not sure if still accurate, but Vermont doesn't require a law school degree to take the bar if one studies for four years under the supervision of a Vermont attorney in the state of Vermont.




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