Qualifications for Admission to the Bar
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that he/she has satisfied all of character, fitness, academic, service and other qualifications for admission to the bar in each state or states where he/she intends to practice law. Before their matriculation to law school, applicants should consult the American Bar Association’s and National Conference of Bar Examiner’s Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admissions Requirements. That Comprehensive Guide contains the character, fitness, academic, service and other qualifications for admission to the bar in Illinois, and in every other jurisdiction outside of Illinois as well. Each applicant is advised to determine, review, understand and satisfy all of the character, fitness, academic, service and other qualifications required in every state in which the applicant intends to seek admission to the bar.
It is the responsibility of each student to ensure that he/she has satisfied all bar admission requirements of the state or states where he/she intends to practice law. A failure to obtain this information may delay or preclude admission to the bar. A Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admissions Requirements can be located at: http://www.ncbex.org/publications/.
Third and fourth year students who plan to take the Illinois bar exam can complete the application online in their last year. Materials can be found at: www.ilbaradmissions.org.
Bar Exam Checklist
- Register for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) at the National Council of Bar Examiners at www.ncbex.org. The MPRE is offered three times a year, in March, August and November.
- Complete all requirements to obtain Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University Chicago, School of Law
- Apply to sit for the Illinois Bar Exam with the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar at www.ilbaradmissions.org. The deadline for the February exam is September 1. The deadline for the July exam is February 15.
Once your Juris Doctor degree has been posted on your transcript, the Law Registrar Office will send the Certificate of Dean of Law School to the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar to verify your degree and date of graduation.
Students who are taking the bar examination in another state are responsible for making sure that we receive the dean’s certificate for that state early enough to meet their deadline. Some states may not have a specific form and simply require a letter verifying that you are a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, School of Law. If yes, you must submit your request in writing, in a timely manner in order for us to meet their deadline.
Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE)
The MPRE is the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, a multiple choice exam containing 50 questions, which is produced, marketed, and administered by the American College of Testing (ACT) on behalf of the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) three times each calendar year (March, August, and November). The test is designed to measure the examinee’s knowledge of the ethical standards of the legal profession and is two hours and five minutes in length. Many jurisdictions, including Illinois, require bar applicants to sit for the MPRE. The MPRE is also scored and scaled nationally, although each jurisdiction establishes its own passing score. Visit the website of the NCBE at www.ncbex.org for detailed information.
Illinois Bar Applications
Third and Fourth Year Students—Students who plan to take the Illinois Bar exam in February or July can complete the application online at the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar (www.ilbaradmissions.org ). The application deadline is February 15 for the July exam and September 1 for the February exam.
Illinois and Multi-State Bar Exam
Most law graduates take the bar exam after they graduate. Most states offer the exam in two parts: one day of the state bar exam (usually essay in form) followed by the multiple choice Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) on the second day. Each state bar exam may be a little different from the next, so be sure to ask the bar authorities from the state to which you will apply for admission. See Dean Faught for further information.
Illinois recently adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). The Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) is coordinated by NCBE and is composed of the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), two Multistate Performance Test (MPT) tasks, and the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). It is uniformly administered, graded, and scored by user jurisdictions and results in a portable score that can be transferred to other UBE jurisdictions.
In Illinois, the Uniform Bar Exam is a 2 day exam offered on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of each February and each July.
The first day of the Uniform Bar Exam consists of:
- MEE Essay Subjects (6 questions covering the following subjects):
- Business Associations (Agency and Partnership; Corporations and Limited Liability Companies),
- Civil Procedure,
- Conflict of Laws,
- Constitutional Law,
- Criminal Law and Procedure,
- Family Law,
- Real Property,
- Trusts and Estates (Decedents’ Estates; Trusts and Future Interests), and
- Uniform Commercial Code (Secured Transactions).
- MPT - Multistate Performance Test – 2 questions
The second day of the Uniform Bar Exam consists of:
- 200 MBE Multiple-Choice Questions, covering the following subjects:
- Contracts and Sales (25 multiple choice questions)
- Constitutional Law (25 multiple choice questions)
- Criminal Law and Procedure (25 multiple choice questions)
- Civil Procedure (25 multiple choice questions)
- Evidence (25 multiple choice questions)
- Real Property (25 multiple choice questions)
- Torts (25 multiple choice questions)
February exam results are generally released six weeks after the exam. July exam results are generally released 8–10 weeks after the exam.
Most students who take a reasonably well-rounded curriculum at Loyola will be well prepared for the bar exam in any state. Students who, in planning their schedules, focus only on bar-related courses may not take advantage of the courses in the curriculum that offer a deeper perspective into the profession of law or that help develop important skills for the practice of law. Students who do not take enough courses that touch on the areas tested on the bar exam may find themselves poorly prepared for the bar. In either case, the student will find that his or her preparation for the profession of law is not well-rounded. For suggestions on what to take into consideration when choosing law school courses, please refer to the Curriculum Planning Guide for Law Students.