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, which is available at: http://www.ncbex.org/publications/ . 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.
Background Information on the Illinois and Multi-State Bar Exams
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.
The Illinois 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 Illinois Bar Exam consists of:
- One 90-minute Multistate Performance Test (MPT) question.
- Six Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) questions:
- MEE Subjects
- Administrative Law
- Commercial Paper
- Conflict of Laws
- Family Law
- Federal Jurisdiction and Procedure
- Federal Taxation
- IL Civil Procedure
- Personal Property
- Secured Transactions
- Trusts and Future Interests
- Wills and Estates
- ** Plus all MBE subjects (see below)
- Three questions drafted by Illinois examiners.
The second day of the Illinois Bar Exam consists of:
The 200-question Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) multiple-choice exam.
- MBE Subjects
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law/Procedure
- Real Property
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.