Believe it or not, the second year of law school is when you should begin researching early bar exam requirements.
If you’re a 2L student reading this blog, yes, that means pretty much now. It’s not too early to get moving on this process. Depending on the state/jurisdiction in which you plan to take the bar, you may encounter specific instructions, special fees and other details that will require plenty of advanced planning and work on your part. The goal is to avoid pitfalls later, when you really don’t want any surprises.
Be aware of deadlines, save money
The bar admission requirements are just that — requirements — and certain ones come with a fee. Pay close attention. Make sure you are fully aware of those requirements and their deadlines. You may have something to do during 2L year.
Check out this BARBRI bar exam checklist for help.
Realize this is not an easy process
Even if you’re taking a state bar exam in which you don’t have to file your bar exam application until the third year of law school, this is not something you can do in one night. Or even over the course of a week. You will likely have to do some significant digging into your personal, financial and work histories. Remember that traffic ticket you got in the middle of nowhere driving home from college your second year? You are going to have to hunt down the docket for it to include with your application. That’s only part of it. You may have to get forms notarized and references to provide letters of recommendation.
Prepare to move quickly
Some states have a limited timeline established for you to file your bar exam application. The last thing you want is to wait another six months to take the bar because you missed a deadline. As a 2L student now, you can see these coming with more than enough time to gather and do everything you need on schedule.
Take courses on topics tested
By checking bar exam requirements, you get to see what’s tested on that exam and then plan your course schedule accordingly. For example, if your bar exam state tests Commercial Law and Secured Transactions, consider taking those classes in law school. Give yourself every advantage, early and often.
For more information and tips, check out this BARBRI bar exam checklist.