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The Bar Exam: 3L Year

How to pass the Bar Exam

Character and Fitness

Character and Fitness

As part of the bar exam application the state bar will investigate your background to basically see if you have been a good person. Just because you got into law school doesn't mean the state bar has to admit you. It is up to you to prove to the state bar that you posses the requisite character and fitness to be a member of the bar. While out of date the Character and Fitness process goes approximately like this: The Florida Board of Bar Examiners: The Use of and Rehabilitation at Formal Hearings (Florida Bar Journal 2000)

  • Alcohol and substance abuse problems:
    • Some states impose automatic wait periods if you have been convicted of or even charged with DWI or DUI. Florida does not but expect to be questioned by the bar if you haven't completed any treatment or rehabilitation program.  
  • Mental Health Issues:
    • The Florida Bar like others actively encourages applicants to get help for any mental health needs. The Florida Bar allows conditional approval where the application is able to practice law provided regular reports are submitted to the bar along with proof of treatment, medication, ect.
  • Academic Misconduct:
    • Cheating can be an independent reason to reject an application for character and fitness. Other incidents that reflect on the candidate's ability to respect the rights of others the law will be looked at carefully by any character and fitness board.
  • Candor:
    • Disclose is the order of the day. There are very few things that preclude a person from practicing law. However, failing to disclose and to be completely honest about them will almost certainly preclude any person from being admitted to any jurisdiction.  

The MPRE

The Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) is administered three times a year in April, August and November. The deadline to register for the exam is two months before the desired test date. According to Florida Bar rules an applicant may take the MPRE anywhere he chooses provided the applicant forwards the score to the Florida Bar.

Also according to the Florida Bar the MPRE score remains valid for 25 months before and after admission of the test. Therefore, an applicant can take the MPRE as soon as the start of their second year all the way up to two years after the applicant takes the general Florida bar exam.

MPRE Home Page

Upper Division Classes

It is down to the last year. Now it is time to pick your final set of classes. What classes should you take? According to the Florida Bar, you are responsible for being able to answer questions in the following categories:

  • Florida Constitutional Law
  • Federal Constitutional Law
  • Business Entities
  • Wills and Administration of Estates
  • Trusts
  • Real Property
  • Evidence
  • Torts
  • Criminal Law, Constitutional Criminal Procedure and Juvenile Delinquency
  • Contracts
  • Articles 3 and 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code
  • Family Law
  • Chapter 4, Rules of Professional Conduct of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar
  • Chapter 5, Rules Regulating Trust Accounts of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar
  • Professionalism

Business Organizations, Professional Responsibility, Evidence and Criminal Procedure are all required courses that are on the bar exam. Other classes that are recommended for those looking to take classes related to bar topics include:

  • Secured Transactions
  • Florida Constitutional Law
  • Family Law
  • Wills Trusts and Estates

Timeline for Bar Applications

It is important for any applicant to get started on the Florida Bar Exam application well in advance of the deadlines. Unless an applicant applied as a 1L, the applicant fee is $1,000.00

For the July Exam The deadlines are as follows

May 2 with no additional fee June 1 with a $325.00 additional fee June 15 with a $625.00 additional fee.

A complete description of what goes into an application can be found at the Florida Bar website. Application Checklist

Comp Bar

As part of your tuition here at Ave Maria, you will be provided with a bar review course. Those classes and materials are referred to as the "Comp Bar".

ILG Exam360®

In order to use a laptop on the essay portion of the bar exam the laptop must be registered in advance with the Florida Bar. The cost to register the laptop is $125.00 and must be registered by either June 1st for the July bar or January 1st for the February bar. 

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