Illinois Bar Application
The Illinois Bar Exam is administered by the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar as part of the process of identifying and recommending to the Supreme Court qualified candidates for admission to the Illinois Bar. Information regarding bar preparation courses can be found here.
If you have additional questions, please contact Steve Sowle, Assistant Dean of Academic Administration & Student Affairs.
When is the Illinois Bar Exam held?
The Illinois bar exam is offered on the last consecutive Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July. The 2012 dates are February 28 & 29 and July 24 & 25.
What do I need to know about the bar as a 1L?
In Illinois you can save $450 if you register for the bar normally by March 1, You may also receive discounts for registering early for bar review courses. First-year students who plan to take the Illinois Bar Examination after graduation should register with the Illinois bar examiners. The registration materials must be submitted by March 2012. The forms and instructions are available on the bar examiner's web site: www.ibaby.org. Even if you register as a first-year, you will need to complete the final application during your third-year.
What if I don't know where I want to practice?
If you are uncertain whether you intend to practice in Illinois, you may want to consider waiting to register and paying the late fee should you eventually decide to take the Illinois bar exam. The application form is very comprehensive and requires you to provide a significant amount of background information, some of which may be difficult to remember or obtain. It is a good idea to begin working on the materials sooner rather than later if you do plan to register by the March deadline. If you have any questions about the application materials, you may call the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar at 217.522.5917. Representatives from the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar will visit Chicago-Kent early in the Spring semester to answer questions concerning the completion of the bar registration application. The date and time will be announced to students once the event is scheduled.
When is the registration deadline as a 3L/4L?
The final application must be completed even if you registered as a 1L and should be submitted to the Illinois bar examiners by February 1 to register for the July exam. The Illinois Bar Examiners recently converted to an online system. You may file a late application for the July bar exam up to May 31, but substantial penalty fees apply. The forms and instructions are available on the bar examiner's web site: www.ibaby.org.
What kind of information must be included in the Bar application?
All information you disclose on the bar registration application should be consistent with answers to questions on your Application for Admission to the law school. Please note, however, that the bar registration application asks for a considerable amount of information that you were not asked to provide on our Application for Admission to Chicago-Kent. You need to be concerned about the consistency of your answers for questions asked on both forms. You can amend your Application for Admission, if necessary, by addressing a letter to Dean Sowle setting forth the details of the admission or misrepresentation and the reason for it.
What is the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) and how does it work?
The Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) is a six-hour, 200 question multiple-choice examination covering contracts, criminal law, torts, evidence, constitutional law, and real property. The test is divided into two periods of three hours each, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with 100 questions in each period.
What topics are covered on the Illinois Bar Exam?
In addition to the MBE topics, the Illinois Bar Exam essays can include administrative law, agency and partnership, business organizations, commercial paper, conflict of law, criminal procedure, equity, family law, federal taxation, Illinois civil procedure, secured transactions, suretyship, trusts and future interests, and wills and estates.
What is the Dean's Certificate and how do I get one?
The law school sends a "Certificate of Dean of Law School Proof of Legal Education" to the Illinois bar examiners for every student who graduates in December or May. We compile the list of graduating students from the list of those who submitted the Application for Graduation during their final semester. Students do not need to give the Registrar's Office a copy of the Certificate form; they have an electronic version in our system.
What is the MPRE and when do I take it?
The purpose of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is to measure the examinee's knowledge and understanding of established standards related to a lawyer's professional conduct. The MPRE consists of 50 multiple-choice items and lasts two-hours and five minutes. The MPRE is required for admission to the bars of most jurisdictions, including Illinois. The exam is administered in March, August, and November each year. You may take the exam after you have completed two-thirds of the credits required for the J.D. degree (at Chicago-Kent, this means you must have completed 58 credits). Registration information and application forms are available online by going to http://www.ncbex.org/multistate-tests/mpre/.