The Kentucky Bar Exam is a difficult exam that takes months of preparation. During these months of preparation it will be important for candidates to not only become familiar with Kentucky State laws and Federal laws, but it will also be very important for candidates to practice basic legal procedures. However, before this preparation even begins it will be important for the Kentucky Bar Candidate to ensure that they meet all of the requirements to sit for the Bar Exam.
Like most other states, Kentucky requires that their Bar Candidates have a Juris Doctorate degree from an American Bar Association approved law school. While checking the ABA status of your law school may seem like a waste of time, it is an important step to take to ensure that you don’t waste your time preparing for the Kentucky Bar Exam when you don’t even qualify to sit for it. The ABA status of a law school, even one that is a traditional college, may not be favorable because of several factors. Some of these factors include not meeting current curriculum requirements, not adhering to specific ABA requirements, or they simply may be in the process of acquiring ABA approval. A list of ABA approved law schools can be found online at the following link: http://www.abanet.org/.
The next step in qualifying to sit for the Kentucky Bar Exam is to meet moral and character qualifications. To qualify under this requirement you will need to submit yourself to a background check. This check will not only review your criminal history, but it will also probably involve an evaluation of your financial background as well. This process is intended to establish whether you are responsible and ethical enough to withstand the pressures and demands of a legal career.
The final requirement to sit for the Kentucky Bar Exam is to take the Multistate Professional Responsibilities Exam. This exam is made up of fifty multiple choice questions that cover the American Bar Associations Model Rules of Professional Conducted 1983 version, the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct 1990 version, and any constitutional rulings that apply to the topic of professional responsibilities of a lawyer. After these fifty questions you will also need to complete ten questions that relate to your testing experience. You will have two hours and five minutes to complete this exam. The state of Kentucky requires that you pass this exam with a score of at least 75 points. This is a fairly moderate score requirement, as most of the other states require a score of at least 80 points to sit for their bar exams. This exam is not given by the Kentucky Bar Association, instead you will need to find a testsite in your area that administers this exam. The MPRE needs to be taken before you apply to sit for the Kentucky Bar Exam.
If you are already an attorney in another district you can visit the following link for information on how to become a Kentucky attorney without taking the Kentucky Bar Exam: http://www.kyoba.org/rules/scr/2010.html.
If you meet all of the above requirements then you are ready to register for the Kentucky Bar Exam. To find registration information and materials you should visit the Kentucky Board of Bar Examiners’ website, or contact them for more information.
Board of Bar Examiners
1510 Newtown Pike, Suite X
Lexington, Kentucky 40511-1255
(859) 246-2381 Telephone Number
THE EXAM’S FORMAT
The Kentucky Bar Exam lasts for two days and it is given in Lexington during the last week of February, and in Louisville during the last week of July. On the first day of the exam you will be given six Kentucky Law Essay Exam questions as well as six Multistate Essay Exam questions. On the second day of the exam you will take the Multistate Bar Exam, which consists of 200 multiple choice questions that cover general legal topics and issues. To pass this exam you will need 132 points on the Multistate Bar Exam and a score of at least 75% on the essay exam section of the Kentucky Bar Exam. If you have taken the Kentucky Bar Exam in the past three years and have already passed the MBE with a score of 132 points, then you can apply that score to your newest attempt and only take the essay portion of the exam.
WHAT TO STUDY
On the first day of the exam you will be given twelve essay questions. You do not need to know Kentucky law verbatim to pass this section of the Kentucky Bar Exam. However, you should know how Kentucky law is different from those of the national majority. You can earn extra points by identifying these differences in your essays. On the other hand the Kentucky Board of Bar Examiners suggests that this be a secondary objective, and that candidates should answer the questions first with the views of the national majority, and then if they still have time add how Kentucky law differs from this view.
To fully prepare for the Kentucky Bar Exam study the following topics:
1. Administrative Law and Procedures
2. Conflicts of Laws
4. Constitutional Law
5. Business Ethics
6. Criminal Law and Procedures
7. Uniform Commercial Code (focusing on sales, secured transactions and negotiable instruments)
8. Civil Procedures
9. Domestic Relations
10. Real Property and Personal Property
11. Federal Taxation
13. Estates, Wills, and Trusts
For a study materials please check out the following links:
1. Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedures located at http://www.louisvillelaw.com/civil_rules/index.htm
2. Kentucky Rules of Criminal Procedures located at http://kyrules.west.thomson.com/toc/default.wl?db=KY%2DTOC%2DWEB%3BSTAKYTOC&rs=KYR1%2E0&ofindtype=V&odocname=KY011226780&findtype=X&odb=KY%2DRULES%2DWEB%3BSTAKY&vr=1%2E0&docname=KY011226780
3. Uniform Commercial Code located at http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/ucc.table.html
4. Kentucky Rules of Evidence located at http://kyrules.west.thomson.com/toc/default.wl?oFindType=V&oDocName=KY011227026&oDB=KY%2DRULES%2DWEB%3BSTAKY&DocName=KY011227026&FindType=X&DB=KY-TOC-WEB%3BSTAKYTOC&RS=KYR1.0&VR=1.0
5. Kentucky Rules of Administrative Procedures located at http://kyrules.west.thomson.com/toc/default.wl?oFindType=V&oDocName=KY011227459&oDB=KY%2DRULES%2DWEB%3BSTAKY&DocName=KY011227459&FindType=X&DB=KY-TOC-WEB%3BSTAKYTOC&RS=KYR1.0&VR=1.0
6. For copies of past essay exam questions visit http://www.kyoba.org
On the second day of the Kentucky 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/.