Bar Exam Checklist: The Guide to the 2022 Bar Exam by Celia Lerman

Oct 12, 2021


With the winter 2022 Bar Exam 6 month window approaching, the time is nearing for lawyers to begin their preparation for the exam. But before one can pass the exam or begin their studies, there are several important items to be completed. Here is a checklist of items that need to be completed leading up to your test date (general guide, make sure to confirm by state):

1) Pass the MPRE

The MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination) is a two-hour, 60-question multiple-choice exam administered three times a year (March, August and November). A passing MPRE score is required for admission to the bar exam of all states, besides Wisconsin and Puerto Rico. Depending on the state you will be required to achieve a passing score on the MPRE within a specific time frame either before or after passing the Bar Exam.

2) Create a NCBE Account

In order to take the Bar and the MPRE, all law students are required to create a NCBE Account that comes with a unique NCBE Number for identification purposes. Below is the link to register for the NCBE

3) Apply for the Bar Exam by the Fall or Spring Deadlines 

In order to sit your state’s bar exam, you must complete an application. Each state independently decides who may sit for their bar exam and who may be admitted. It is important to note that many states have state specific application requirements, and many states also require additional state law courses or exams as part of their admissions requirements. Be sure to check for these requirements based on your state. 

4) Monitor the Filing Fees

It is very important to plan for and monitor the schedule of payments in order to plan ahead for the payments and to avoid late fees. Typically, there is a bar exam fee, an application fee, a character and fitness fee, a laptop/software fee, and possibly more depending on the state. 

5) Complete the Character and Fitness Application 

While this application is required by all states, some states require that you submit this application before you take the bar, while some allow you to submit it after. This application will ask you to submit details about your academic, work and financial history. Further, you must include references, any criminal record and civil proceedings. It is important to plan ahead for this document, as it can take an extensive amount of time.

6) Sign Notarized Authorization and Release Form (A&R)

The A&R Release form gives you application analyst the authority to perform a full background check on you. For this form to be valid, you will need to print this form and sign it in the presence of a notary. Depending on your state, you can either upload the A&R to your online account, or mail it in prior to the filing deadline for the bar exam. This form is required. 

7) Pass the Bar Exam!

With proper preparation and completion of the required items listed above (based on your state), the last step is to study, and pass the bar exam. Best of luck on your bar exam journey!

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