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bar examination

n. the examination given in each state by either the highest court or, if an "integrated" bar, by the state bar association (subject to appeal to the State Supreme Court) for admission as an attorney. The examinations vary in difficulty, but most include up to three days of questions, many of which are essay type posing factual situations which call upon an ability to identify and analyze the legal "issues" and to demonstrate substantial knowledge of various areas of the law. Usually there are some multiple choice or true and false questions, depending on the state. The pass/fail rate varies from state to state and year to year. Some states, like California, have a pass rate of below 60 percent of applicants, but do allow several tries. Other states pass 90 percent. To qualify one must have received a law degree (LLB or JD) from an established law school or, in seven states, prove that he/she studied for several years in law school and/or with an attorney. Very few graduates ever pass the examination. Some states require a special bar examination for attorneys from other states, while others recognize out-of-state attorneys if they have established local residence. Passing a state's bar examination will automatically qualify the attorney to practice in the federal courts in that district.

See also: attorney 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications