- Basic Overview of Bar Admissions from the ABA
- A law school graduate is not a lawyer and cannot practice law before he or she is licensed, and a license requires admission to the bar of at least one of the 56 jurisdictions in the U.S. (the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories). To get a general idea of the bar admission process, read this one page overview
- Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements from the National Conference of Bar Examiners
- Annual summary of the bar admission requirements in every U.S. jurisdiction (updated each spring)
Character & Fitness
Bar admission includes consideration of a bar applicant's character and moral fitness for practice. It is important for law school applicants and students to be familiar with all of the bar admission requirements of the jurisdiction(s) in which they intend to practice.
Each jurisdiction determines its own rules for bar admission, including the composition of its bar exam. Most, if not all, jurisdictions use some combination of multiple choice and essay questions, and most jurisdictions use some combination of Multistate exams developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and jurisdiction-specific questions developed by their own courts or bar examiners. Each jurisdiction decides which Multistate exams it will use and the weight it will assign to each; this information is published annually on bar examiner websites and in the NCBE's Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements. Understanding the content and structure of your jurisdiction's bar exam will help you to tailor your studying and develop strategies for passing the exam.
- Maryland Bar Exam Essay Questions and Sample Answers from the Maryland Board of Law Examiners
- Being admitted to a state's bar does not mean that a lawyer is automatically admitted to the federal courts physically located in that state. Each federal court sets its own admission rules. For example:
- Membership in voluntary bar associations is not required in order to practice law, but it often plays an important part in a lawyer's career development. See, for example: