Bar examinations are held in every state to control the entry of fresh lawyers into practice. It is these exams that ensure the quality of lawyers in bar councils and for carrying out court proceedings. Every nation throughout the world with a valid judiciary system conducts some sort of screening or the other to ensure a required standard. Commonly, these examinations are conducted by the bar associations of the respective states.
Although every state has its own bar examinations in the United States, the examination conducted for the state of California is regarded by many as among the toughest. This notion is testified through the grueling pattern of the examination, coupled with the extensive syllabus that is regarded to be tougher than the standard examination.
Preparing for the Exam
Before a candidate decides to sit for the examination, he/she should fulfill the eligibility requirements for appearing in the examination. The most conventional way to get this done is my attending one of the many law schools. Another way of doing this is through self study of the entire law syllabus or through apprenticeship under an existing lawyer. Once an applicant believes that he/she is ready to practice the profession, then he/she can apply to sit in the examination.
Details of California Bar Examination
The California Bar Association examination is conducted twice a year, in the months of February and April. The entire duration of the examination totals 18 hours, the second longest in the United States (after Louisiana). The examination is conducted over three days. The first day has two parts; an essay section and a performance test, which totals six hours. The next stage is conducted on the succeeding day. It consists of two sets of Multistate Bar Examinations of 100 questions each. The third day again has a performance test and an essay paper.
The essay section, on an average accounts for almost 40 percent of the total marks weightage. However, there are no specifications regarding which portion of the syllabus would be included in this paper. The MBE has a set of 200 questions of multiple choice types. The performance test is believed to test the candidate’s aptitude for legal proceedings. On an average, this section carries 26 percent of the total marks.
The syllabus for the examination is a voluminous one. It covers 13 separate categories. California state specific laws constitute a considerable portion of the entire syllabus. This includes every types of legal knowledge from criminal law to professional responsibility.
High Difficulty Level
Over the years, many have complained and even tried to sue the Bar Association for an unnecessarily difficult level for the examinations. The list of those who have failed the examination in the past includes eminent lawyers and personalities. The curious thing about the examination is that the list of those who fail the examination is never released. Thus, it becomes impossible to track the candidates who have failed on multiple occasions. One can expect the pass rates to be around 35 percent. By any margin, this is among the lowest in the nation.
Perhaps one of the reasons why the examination is so prestigious is the extreme level of competition that ensues. One who passes the examination can be expected to be well equipped to embark on a career in law. On a parting note, there is nothing that is impossible through proper preparation and determination.
Go through the official link for detailed information.