Guide to the Bar Exam

In our curriculum, the lockstep and upper-level required courses cover some areas of law that are tested on the bar exam. But the Uniform Bar Exam (the bar exam administered in Texas and most other states) tests many subjects that are not covered by the required courses. This page will help you decide whether to take additional bar-tested courses beyond those requires of all students

What courses should you take to prepare to pass the bar exam?

Your lockstep and required courses will prepare you to pass the bar exam. Many students also choose to use some of their elective courses to prepare for the bar. The number of courses you should take for this purpose depends on your personal circumstances, including factors such as your ability to learn large amounts of information quickly in a commercial bar prep course. For many students, devoting a large number of electives to bar preparation will not be as worthwhile as taking courses that will prepare them for their careers. Taking too many bar courses, for example, can prevent you from concentrating on an area that interests you. Further, the only upper-level course that has a statistically significant effect on bar passage is Preparing for the Bar Exam. Other bar-tested courses may lighten your cognitive load when you are prepping for the bar exam (because more of the bar-prep material will be familiar to you), but they will not necessarily improve your odds of passing the bar.

Nonetheless, students who struggle academically during law school often have a difficult time passing the bar. If you fall into this category, you may benefit from taking more bar prep courses than the typical student. If you are particularly concerned about passing the bar exam—and especially if your cumulative GPA is in the fourth quartile of the class (typically around 2.70 to 2.75)—we also strongly encourage you to meet with our Academic Support team to map out a plan to prepare you for the bar. In addition, if you are in the bottom third of your class in the semester before graduation, you must take Preparing for the Bar Exam.

Listed below are elective courses that may help you prepare for the Texas bar exam. If you plan to take the bar exam of a state other than Texas, choose courses that cover topics that are tested in that state. Our Academic Support staff can offer bar prep assistance for every state.

Bar-Tested Elective Courses
Advanced Torts
Business Associations I
Conflict of Laws
Criminal Procedure
Evidence
Family Law
First Amendment
Marital Property
Remedies
Sales & Leases
Secured Transactions
Core Commercial Concepts
Principles of Secured Transactions
Trusts and Fiduciary Responsibilities
Wills and Estates

As a general rule, we offer Bar-tested elective courses every year.

What areas of the law are covered on the Texas bar exam?

The Texas/Uniform Bar Exam comprises three sections: The Multistate Bar Exam (200 multiple-choice questions, six hours total), the Multistate Performance Test (two skills tests, three hours total), and the Multistate Essay Exam (six essays, three hours total).

Multistate Subjects:

  • Federal Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional law
  • Contracts (including Sales)
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Real property
  • Torts

Multistate Performance Test:

The Multistate Performance test is a skills test that is designed to assess your ability to use fundamental lawyering skills in a realistic situation. During the test, you will receive a “file” of source documents and a “library” of cases, statutes and rules. Using these materials, you will perform an assigned lawyering task, such as writing a memorandum to a supervising attorney, a letter to a client, a contract provision, a proposal for settlement or a closing argument.

Multistate Essay Subjects:

  • Business associations, including agency, corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies and professional associations
  • Federal Civil Procedure
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts (including Sales)
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Real property
  • Torts
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Secured Transactions
  • Bankruptcy, to be included where appropriate, as an element of questions in other subjects, such as family law, wills and estates, real property, etc.

Learn more about how our Academic Support Program can help you prepare for the bar exam.