I graduated law school December 2015, nearly three years ago. However, graduating from law school in the United States of America does not automatically make you an Attorney. You earned your law degree called a Juris Doctorate (J.D.). This allows an individual to become Attorney after taking the Bar Exam.
Ever since I was 12 years old I have wanted to be an attorney. I did not know what it took to become one. I learned everything as I went along from the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), (which I took 3 times and was working on application #4 before getting accepted to law school) to the Bar Exam. I was determined to take that test until I got in law school. Most things I did not know about the Bar Exam until graduation.
The Bar Exam
The Bar Exam (Bar) is a test law school graduates take after completing law school earning a J.D. to receive a license to practice law. The cost of the test varies by state it can range from $500 to $1,000. Many people are surprised that you have to pay for the Bar Exam with I tell them why I’m not a lawyer YET. I never knew either. I could have planned differently. But I’ll get the money don’t worry.
The Bar is held in all 50 states on the same days and time twice a year.
TheBar is only held the last Tuesday and Wednesday in February and again the last Tuesday and Wednesday in July. This is so that May graduates can study and take the test in two months after leaving law school and then start their new legal career. Sometimes people graduate in December like I did so they would take the Bar two months later in February.
The Bar is a rigorous two day exam from 8am to 5pm both days. Day one is multiple choice day where you answered 200 complex multiple choice questions—100 in the am session and 100 in the afternoon session after lunch. You have 3 hours for each section. The second day is essays. The number of essay questions vary from state to state. I think the state I plan to take has 15 essay questions.
Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)
Then there is the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). Another exam to take to practice law. It has 60 multiple-choice questions and you are given 120 minutes. I’ve taken this test and did not receive a passing score. This test is like $160.
Anyway the journey to being a lawyer is very expensive. From the law school degree, Bar, MPRE, and also any exam prep courses or tutor you can afford to help prepare otherwise you study on your own.
When I pass the Bar. I will literally pass the Bar. My experience has motivated me to help other disadvantaged individuals take their Bar Exam. I want to start a scholarship fund to pay Bar Exam expenses who need it. I have looked in to scholarships, contacted the Bar examiner, Michigan State University—they said no. No programs, no help, no fee waivers, no discount.
Everything is the same price no matter if you were born into poverty or into wealth.
It takes so long when you’re poor. Sometimes I think is it all worth it. I try not to get caught up in the life. I became different when I was dancing. I didn’t like it.