What exactly IS the Bar?

For the past three months you’ve heard repeatedly about the Bar or the Bar Exam or the Texas Bar Exam. But some of you may not really know what exactly the Bar Exam IS. 

The Bar exam is a test that every single law school graduate must take (and pass) to be able to practice law in a state. I cannot practice law in any state until I have been admitted to that state’s bar by their Board of Law Examiners. Each state has different requirements to be admitted to the bar. In Texas you must 1) have a valid law degree 2) have passed the Texas Bar 3) have passed the MPRE (multistate professional responsibility exam) and 4) have been deemed to have good moral character and fitness by the Texas Bar. 

These requirements vary from state to state. For example, in Minnesota where I spent my first year of law school, their requirements are different. They require the same 1,3, and 4, as above but they do not require you to have taken the Minnesota Bar Exam, they just require a certain passing grade on any state’s bar exam. This reciprocity is normal in most states, some states add that if you are waiving in from another state you must have practiced law in that state for at least 5 years. 

Texas, and only a very small number of other states, requires applicants to take their bar exams. Why? Because these exams are harder. They incorporate another entire day of testing. Most bar exams are two days. Mine was three. Sucks to suck right? 

Anyway, so back to my experience. 

It sucked

It was depressing, stressful, horrifying, and at the same time, in a twisted way, exhilarating. 

I took the exam in Arlington with over 1,000 other applicants, sitting on plastic chairs and working on folding tables, for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. There were short answer, closed essays, open essays, and multiple choice questions. There was a slight debacle this year with the software used for the essays… and when I say slight I’m being sarcastic. It was widespread over the entire country and ended up being the worst thing that could probably happen to that software company. Don’t piss off a bunch of future lawyers right? 

I went back to my hotel room each day exhausted and wanting to cry. Cry because it wasn’t over yet, the stress build up was so intense, and you continuously feel like you’re an idiot. Then the last day when we finished I walked back to my car and when I got in there were literal tears running down my face. 

I slept for over 12 hours Thursday night and when I got up and had literally nothing to do that day, it was insane. Insane is a good way.

So now, perhaps my life can go back to some resemblance of normal. I have time to cook, watch tv, do laundry, work out, and meet friends. It sort of like my life can begin again. So I hope you are looking forward to not talking about the bar as much as I am!


  • http://www.iris-hanlin.com/ The Starving Inspired

    This sounds absolutely horrible. I am so sorry.

    The Starving Inspired

  • http://www.chemgradboom.com/ Caitlyn @ ChemGradBoom

    At least it is done now! And I can not believe it is 3 days worth of testing that is horrible!

  • Lawfully

    Love these reads on the bar exam. Going through it now.