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Bar Preparation: Overview

This guide covers bar admission, tips for taking the bar exam, information about bar prep programs and links to bar exam information for individual states.

Bar Support at Villanova Law

This guide was compiled by LaRasz Moody, Esq. Please contact Matt Carluzzo, Director of Academic Success & Bar Support Programs, for assistance with bar applications.

Also see the ABA's Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements available in the library.

MPRE

Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE)

The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is required for admission to the bars of many jurisdictions, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware. It measures knowledge and understanding of established standards related to a lawyer's professional conduct.

For admission to the Pennsylvania bar, candidates must achieve a score of 75 on the MPRE. The MPRE is a 50 question, multiple choice test, offered in March, August, and October. You may take the exam as a law student or within time periods established by the bar examiners in the states in which you intend to practice. The best way to register is online to ensure online access to your Admissions ticket and score following the exam but you can also register by phone by calling (215) 504-3886.

Please review the MPRE Information page prior to registration.

Different Types of Bar Exams

To find out what your state requires, find your jurisdiction in the drop-down menu.

Topics on the Bar Exam

Multistate Bar Exam

The Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) is a 200-question multiple choice exam administered in every state except Puerto Rico, Louisiana and Washington. The topics covered on the MBE are listed below with the Villanova Law School courses in which those topics are covered.

(Note: Subjects that may appear on a bar exam are discussed in many courses. The list below includes only those courses which devote substantial attention to subject areas which are specified as being covered on the MBE.)

  • Civil Procedure - Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
    •  Constitutional Law I (1L) & II
  • Contracts - Contracts 
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
    • Criminal Law (1L)
    • Criminal Procedure: Investigation; Criminal Procedure: Adjudication
  • Evidence - Evidence
  • Real Property - Property or Property Practicum (1L)
  • Torts - Torts (1L)

New York Bar Exam

New York Admission Requirements:

1. Take and complete the New York Law Course (NYLC), an online course in New York-specific law.

2. Take and pass the New York Law Exam (NYLE), an online 50 question multiple choice exam. It is offered 4 times per year (March, June, September & December) and tests on the following subjects of New York Law: 

  • Administrative Law 
  • Business Relationships
  • Civil Practice and Procedure
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Matrimonial and Family Law
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Real Property
  • Torts and Tort Damages
  • Trusts, Wills and Estates

3. Comply with 50 hour pro bono service requirement

4. Take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE)

5. Test takers who entered law school after August 1, 2016 must also comply with a Skills Competency Requirement

6. Complete Character and Fitness application

7. Take and pass the Uniform Bar Exam


The Uniform Bar Exam consists of the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE).

UBE passing score for New York: 266 out of 400 total points.

The UBE tests on general legal principles with the subjects in red below tested on both the essay and the multiple choice portions while others are only tested on the essays. The MPT tests six "fundamental lawyering skills."

  • Business Associations
  • Civil Procedure 
  • Conflicts of Law 
  • Constitutional Law 
  • Contracts 
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Real Property
  • Secured Transactions
  • Torts
  • Trusts & Estates

See the New York State Board of Law Examiners' website or the Bar Exam Information Guide for more information.

Delaware Bar Exam

Overview

The Bar examination may be a distant thought for many of you and for some of you it may be recurring nightmare.   Whatever your frame of mind, the bar exam is an inevitable rite of passage if you want to practice law.  You need to be informed about the bar exam and the steps you need to take to prepare. 

What is a Bar Examination?

In almost every state in the United State and in some territories, recently graduated law students sit for a state bar exam. For instance, if you are interested in practicing in Pennsylvania, you would take the Pennsylvania Bar Exam. The bar exam measures a candidate's competency to practice law in a particular state. Successful bar exam candidates receive a license evidencing their competency to practice law in a given jurisdiction.

Passing Your Bar Exam

Passing the bar exam is a pivotal last step in becoming an attorney. There are many things you can do, as a student, to achieve this success. Much of the law school curriculum is geared toward providing you with the necessary foundation for success. In addition, most students participate in a commercial bar review course, after graduation. This course reviews (and in some cases introduces you to) those subjects that might be tested on your jurisdiction's bar exam.

Beyond Bar Classes and Commercial Review Courses

In addition to what you learn in your law school classes and the commercial bar review courses, Villanova University School of Law also offers workshops and programs designed to help you assess and practice the skills necessary for passing the bar. These workshops cover each part of the bar exam - the essay, multiple choice and performance test portions. Thus, you have the opportunity to not only learn the appropriate substance but to also hone the necessary skills related to each portion of the bar exam. You can find strategies on preparing for the bar in the Bar Preparation Tips tab.

Getting Started

Current students and alumni of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law are encouraged to view the material on the Bar Preparation website and contact Matthew Carluzzo, the Director of Academic Success and Bar Support Programs, and to participate in the bar preparation workshops and programs as they are announced. Please feel free to stop by Matt's office so that you can meet in person.

Essays--Pennsylvania

Each state also has another portion of the bar exam, usually in an essay format. The topics covered on the essay portion of bar exams most frequently taken by Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law graduates are listed below. When it may not be self-evident which Villanova Law School courses devote substantial attention to the particular topic, the courses are noted in the brackets.

The Pennsylvania essay exam tests all six of the MBE subjects, with an emphasis on Pennsylvania law, as well as the following topics:

  • Business Organizations
  • Civil Procedure (PA & Federal)
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Evidence (PA & Federal)
  • Family Law
  • Federal Constitutional Law
  • Federal Income Tax [Intro to Fed Tax]
  • Pennsylvania Professional Responsibility
  • Real Property
  • Torts
  • UCC Article II - Sales
  • Wills, Wills, Trusts and Decedents' Estates [Decedents' Estates & Trusts]

Pennsylvania also administers one Performance Test question designed to test an applicant's ability to use fundamental lawyering skills in a realistic situation.

New Jersey Bar Exam

NEW JERSEY:

Starting with the February 2017 bar exam, New Jersey switched to the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) and no longer tests on New Jersey-specific law. The UBE is administered on Tuesday & Wednesday of exam week each exam period so the NJ bar exam can no longer be taken with the PA bar in the same testing cycle. The UBE consists of three different tests:

‚ÄčThe UBE tests on general legal principles with the subjects in red below tested on both the essay and the multiple choice portions while others are only tested on the essays. The MPT tests six "fundamental lawyering skills."

  • Business Associations
  • Civil Procedure 
  • Conflicts of Law 
  • Constitutional Law 
  • Contracts 
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Real Property
  • Secured Transactions
  • Torts
  • Trusts & Estates

Please see the New Jersey Board of Bar Examiner's FAQs for more information.

Washington, D.C. Bar Exam