After four years of undergraduate studies and three years of law school you may think that finally you are ready to begin your legal career. However, if you plan on practicing law in the state of Indiana, you will need to make sure that you qualify to sit for the Bar Exam, and that you prepare properly for this challenging exam. The first thing that you should do after graduating from law school is visit the Indiana State Bar of Law Examiners to see what steps you need to take to register for the bar exam, and what you will need to do to prepare for this year’s exam.
QUALIFYING FOR THE INDIANA BAR EXAM
The state of Indiana really doesn’t have that many requirements to sit for their Indiana Bar Exam. Like most of the other states in the union, the state of Indiana requires that you graduate from an American Bar Association approved law school as well as pass a background check. These two qualifications ensure that Indiana lawyers have the training and character needed to practice law. To further demonstrate the extent of the candidate’s understanding of their professional responsibilities, they will also need to take the Multistate Professional Responsibilities exam, and pass it with a score of at least 80. For more information about this exam you can visit the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multistate_Professional_Responsibility_Examination.
REGISTERING FOR THE EXAM
If you have met all of the above requirements then you can visit the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners’ website for registration materials.
State Board of Law Examiners
115 West Washington Street
Suite 1070 South Tower
Indianapolis, IN 46204-3417
(317) 232-2552 Telephone Number
THE EXAM’S FORMAT
The Indiana Bar Exam is a two day event that is held in Indianapolis two times a year. Starting in July of 2006 a new Indiana Bar Exam site will be available at PRIMO West, 2353 Hadley Road, Plainfield, Indiana 46168. The first testing session is held the last week of February, and the second testing session is held during the week of the July.
The Indiana Bar Exam will be made up of three different tests, the Indiana Essay Exam, the Multistate Bar Exam, and the Multistate Performance Test. On the first day of the Indiana Bar Exam you will be given two Multistate Performance Tests and four Indiana State Essay Questions. On the second day of the exam you will be given the Multistate Bar Exam, which consists of 200 multiple choice questions that deal with general legal issues and topics.
The Multistate Bar Exam will count for 50 percent of your score, the Indiana State Law Essay Questions will count for 30 percent of your score, and the remaining 20 percent will be made up of your Performance Test score. To pass the Indiana Bar Exam you will need a score of 264.
WHAT TO STUDY
As mentioned above, the first day of the Indiana Bar Exam will focus on laws and legal procedures that are applicable in the state of Indiana. Make sure that you not only study state statutes, but that you also practice legal writing and composition. The topics that are generally covered on day one include (1) Administrative Law, (2) Business Organization, (3) Commercial Law, (4) Indiana Constitutional Law, (5) Family Law, (6) Pleading and Practice, (7) Personal Property, (8) Taxation, and (9) Wills, Trusts, and Estates.
For a study materials please check out the following links:
1. Indiana Rules of Civil Procedures located at http://www.serve-now.com/resources/process-serving-laws/Indiana/
2. Indiana Rules of Criminal Procedures located at http://www.in.gov/judiciary/rules/criminal/index.html
3. Indiana Codes located at http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/
On the second day of the Indiana Bar Exam you will take the Multistate Bar Exam. This exam will be made up of 200 multiple choice questions that cover the following topics as they are generally applied throughout the United States of America:
1. Constitutional Law
2. Contracts and Sales
3. Criminal Law and Procedures
5. Real Property
If you would like a study guide for this section you can visit the NCBE website at http://www.ncbex.org/.