If life on the East Coast appeals to you and you are qualified to sit for the bar, then you may want to consider practicing law in the state of Maryland. The qualifications are modest, however, the exam is quite challenging. To prepare yourself for this complicated exam you will need to design a study plan that not only generally addresses the topics that will be covered in the exam, but that also identifies differences between Maryland law and procedures and federal law and procedures. This article will help you to identify these things, and it will direct you to locations online that you can find free study materials.
To qualify to sit for the Maryland Bar Exam you will need to have a law degree from an ABA approved law school. The Maryland Board of Law Examiners will have a list of approved schools. You can also visit their website to see the requirements that pertain to attorneys from other states. If you have not graduated from an ABA approved law school you may still be able to sit for the Maryland Bar exam if you are an attorney in another state and in good standing. You will need to file an education waiver request to request permission to sit for the Maryland Bar Exam. Information about this process can be found at: http://www.courts.state.md.us/ble/genbarexamdetails.html.
In addition to the above educational requirements you will also need to pass a background check. This background check will examine your criminal and financial records. It will also evaluate your moral character. You will be required to provide the Board of Law Examiners with all of the necessary materials needed for them to make a comprehensive evaluation of your situation. This may include letters of reference.
REGISTERING FOR THE EXAM
To register to sit for the Maryland Bar Exam you will need to download, print out, complete, and submit an application package. These can be found on the Maryland Board of Bar Examiners’ website.
Board of Law Examiners
Robert F. Sweeney District Court Bldg., 3rd Floor
251 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
(410) 260-1975 Local Telephone Number
THE EXAM’S FORMAT
The Maryland Bar Exam is a two day examination that is given in Baltimore during the last week of February and during the last week of July. On the first day of the exam you will be given twelve state law essay questions. On the second day of the Maryland Bar Exam you will take the Multistate Bar Exam, which consists of 200 multiple choice questions that deal with general legal issues and topics. The MBE exam is worth a maximum of 200 points and the essay portion has a maximum value of 400. To pass the Maryland Bar Exam you will need a final composite score of 406 points.
WHAT TO STUDY
As mentioned above, the first day of the Maryland Bar Exam will focus on laws and legal procedures that are applicable in the state of Maryland. 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. Maryland Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure
2. Maryland Rules of Appellate Procedure
3. Maryland Rules of Evidence
4. Maryland Code of Professional Responsibility
5. Conflict of Laws
6. Constitutional Law
9. Creditors’ Rights
10. Criminal Law
13. Wills and Trusts
15. Family Law
17. Real Property
18. Statute of Frauds
19. Statutes of Limitations
20. Federal Income Taxation
22. Uniform Commercial Code
For a study materials please check out the following links:
1. Maryland Rules of Civil Procedures located at http://www.megalawserve.com/states/md.php
2. Maryland Rules of Criminal Procedures located at www.courts.state.md.us/interpreter/rule16_819.pdf
3. You can find sample essays and answers, as well as study guides and general information at http://www.courts.state.md.us/ble/examques_ans.html
4. Uniform Commercial Code located at http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/ucc.table.html
On the second day of the Maryland 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/.