Which Bar Exam to take - MD or VA

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar

Posts: 14842
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:54 am

Which Bar Exam to take - MD or VA

Postby TLSModBot » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:08 pm

2L here. I'm trying to decide down the road between MD and VA bar. Will be practicing in DC, not sure if lit or corp at this point (doing SA this summer so we'll see). Firm doesn't seem to care - waiving into DC is all that matters.

MD benefits:
- Easier exam (fewer subjects covered)
- No CLE requirements
- Closer testing center(s) than VA and no dress code
- long term plans of living in MD
- MPRE doesn't matter for MD

VA Benefits:
- E.D.V.A.
- Easier to get into MD from VA (mini-bar exam) than vice-versa

Is MD the obvious choice? What other factors, if any, might swing this that I haven't provided/considered?


Posts: 10722
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Which Bar Exam to take - MD or VA

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:18 pm

The obvious choice is to take both bar exams. Virginia first since it just takes a mini-bar to join Maryland.

Plus, each time you take a car ride might be a tax deductible expense in the Tidewater region.


Posts: 12
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 8:05 pm

Re: Which Bar Exam to take - MD or VA

Postby m.r.ducks » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:27 pm

While your firm might have a very good offer rate, be careful. DC is never a sure bet, even as a summer associate. While the biggest firms love their 100% offer rate, they also fudge this number to NALP. DC is litigation heavy, and big shops here have recently laid off associates as a sign of things to come. I digress. The best answer is to ask the hiring partner(s) if and when you get an offer. Some firms absolutely have preferences while others have none at all. At the end of the day you need a 133 MBE score to transfer into DC whether that be by way of Alaska or Virginia. (side note, taking Maryland or Virgina will open you up to more local pro bono cases if that is your thing)

Anonymous User
Posts: 312851
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Which Bar Exam to take - MD or VA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:42 pm

I will say that if your firm is a Maryland or Virginia firm with a DC office, then, all things being equal, take the bar for that state. Then if for some reason you need to transfer offices based on practice group dynamics or something you'll be good to go. I had a similar choice, picked the wrong state, transferred offices, then had to take the other bar. I'm sure this doesn't happen often, but...it happened to me :)

If you truly have long term plans to stay in Maryland, no reason to take Virginia. On the other hand, Virginia has reciprocity with a bunch of states, so if you aren't sure where you want to be in 5 years and want more options, go Virginia. Also, I think you still need to take the MPRE for DC. The Maryland bar was a lot easier than Virginia (Virginia has way more subjects and no practice section). Not sure any of that was remotely helpful, but there you go.

(Anon because my firm would know who I am if I used my username...they probably know anyway if they are reading this...)


Posts: 3924
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 2:28 pm

Re: Which Bar Exam to take - MD or VA

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:12 pm


Return to “Legal Employment�

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.