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If you'll be taking the Pennsylvania Bar Exam soon, you can rely on Varsity Tutors to set you up with excellent Pennsylvania Bar preparation options. You can choose to attend one of our live, online classes, or we can set you up with a private tutor. Either way, you can get a thorough review of the material you'll be tested on when you take the Pennsylvania Bar exam.

The Pennsylvania Bar Exam is made up of a six-question essay examination with questions regarding both Pennsylvania and Federal law, the Performance Test (PT), which is made up of just one question as required by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), which is designed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners as part of the Uniform Bar Examination, or UBE. Applicants must also pass a background check and the NCBE-designed Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam to practice law legally in Pennsylvania.

How can Pennsylvania Bar prep help me prepare for the Essay Exam?

Your instructor can discuss how to recognize the pertinent issues in similar practice essay questions and write up a quality argument showcasing your ability to apply the relevant law to the facts presented and to arrive at a conclusion that shows your logical reasoning skills. There are 15 potential subjects tested, and more than one will usually be present in a single question. Many of the subjects revolve around Pennsylvania law, and some have to do with federal law. A partial list of the topics that can appear on the essay portion of the exam follows:

  • Civil procedure (Pennsylvania and federal)
  • Criminal law (Pennsylvania, federal, DUI)
  • Family law
  • Professional responsibility
  • Federal constitutional law
  • Evidence (Pennsylvania and federal)
  • Torts
  • Conflict of laws
  • Contracts

Your instructor can focus on two things when studying for this exam: content and strategy. Content review simply means brushing up on the topics that can appear. Note that your answers won't be assessed based on the correctness of the conclusions you draw, but on the factors listed above. Grammar, spelling, and penmanship are not specifically important to your scoring. The other thing your instructor can focus on is how to answer the questions, which is where offering practice essay questions comes into play.

How can Bar preparation help me study for the Performance Test?

The Performance Tests consists of one question but requires a lot of you. Its purpose is to assess your ability to use basic lawyering skills to perform the type of task that a new attorney would be expected to perform. To perform the task, you'll be given a File containing documents that set forth factual information you must consider. These could be notes from interviews, contracts, letters, wills, affidavits, or many other types of legal and supporting documents. You also receive a Library that contains the only legal principles you should consider to complete the task. You likely have much more legal knowledge than the Library represents, but you are only to consider the legal principles in the Library when formulating your answer to the assigned task.

The kinds of tasks you may perform include:

  • Opinion letters to clients
  • Letters to opposing counsel
  • Memorandum to a partner
  • Legal memoranda
  • Motions
  • Petitions
  • Other tasks you might be expected to perform

The Pennsylvania Bar preparation your instructor can provide, whether that's a private tutor or a class teacher, can be similar to the preparation for the essay portion of the exam. Rather than focusing on memorizing legal concepts, however, the focus is more likely to be on reviewing the process an entry-level attorney would go through to create these types of legal documents. This can include reviewing how to sort relevant from irrelevant information, the logical thought process you should use to apply the legal principles to the germane information, and how to use the correct legal language expected on each type of document.

How can Pennsylvania Bar prep help me get ready for the MPRE and MBE?

These two portions of the Bar exam consist of multiple-choice questions. The MPRE has 60 questions and you are allowed two hours to complete them. The focus of this exam is the law governing the conduct of attorneys and judges including the disciplinary rules of their professional conduct. A few of the many topics questions may focus on include:

  • The attorney-client relationship
  • Client confidentiality
  • Various roles of the lawyer
  • Regulation of the legal profession
  • Conflicts of interest

The MBE is much more comprehensive, with 200 questions completed over a six-hour period (with a break halfway through) that are intended to examine your ability to apply fundamental legal principles and reasoning in order to analyze given facts and patterns. The topics can include:

  • Civil procedure
  • Constitutional law
  • Criminal law and procedure
  • Real property
  • Torts
  • Evidence
  • Contracts

Content review will be a significant part of preparing for these tests, and in addition, there are many test-taking strategies that can be employed. For example, it's much easier to deal with a question you don't know the answer to on a multiple-choice exam if you use certain strategies your instructor can demonstrate. By eliminating obvious wrong answers and clearly reading the question for clues you can increase your chances of choosing the correct answer, and your instructor can help you hone this technique.

Other strategies you can use to help with any lengthy testing procedure. Time management is crucial for long exams. You may feel as though you have all the time in the world when you begin a six-hour exam, but if you don't move at an appropriate pace, you could end up not answering all the questions before that time slips away. It can be difficult to pay attention to anything, much less complicated legal concepts and issues, for six hours. Your Pennsylvania Bar prep instructor can lead you through mindfulness exercises that can help you bring your attention back to the exam when it wants to wander off into other thoughts. Not only do these exams test your legal acumen, but some also test your endurance and persistence.

Which type of Pennsylvania Bar preparation should I choose?

Whether you choose live, online classes or tutoring sessions, you'll receive a top-notch Bar preparation experience. Which one you choose comes down to your preferences and personality. Let's look at some of the advantages of each type of instruction.

Classes give you the chance to meet with an expert instructor and peers who are on the same study track as you. Your classmates can come from a variety of backgrounds and legal experiences. Since the online virtual classroom you'll use to attend lessons allows you to communicate directly with your instructor and classmates, you can benefit from this kind of collaborative experience. In addition to giving in-depth lectures on legal issues, your instructor can lead lively discussions on legal issues and processes. You can learn different viewpoints when classmates add their feedback to topics. If you feel like you're getting behind the class in any way, you can arrange to meet one-on-one with your instructor so you can catch up quickly. If you like the social aspect of a traditional classroom, online classes are probably your best option.

If you're more likely to study on your own or you'd like highly customizable Pennsylvania Bar prep, private instruction may be your best bet. Your private instructor can give lectures and facilitate in-depth discussions, and they can personalize every session to focus on exactly what you need to study. Need more practice writing essays? No problem. Want to focus more on test-taking strategies for a session? Your private teacher can do that. The flexibility to study what you need at your pace is a good reason to choose private Bar prep tutoring.

You can also opt to sign up for classes and study with a tutor outside of class to get the most out of your test prep efforts.

Will Pennsylvania Bar prep fit into my busy schedule?

Varsity Tutors tries to make studying for the Bar as convenient as possible. If you're enrolling in one of our classes, you have a number of options. First, you can choose between a two- or four-week course. The same number of class hours are involved in each, but you have the choice of getting through everything in a short time or more protracted period. New courses begin every month so no matter when you enroll, you'll be near a start date. Various course sections meet on different days and at different times, so you're more likely to find one that fits into your schedule. Private tutoring provides even more flexibility because we can connect you with a tutor who can meet entirely based on your availability.

Either way, meeting online adds to the convenience. Online classes take place in a virtual classroom. If you opt for a tutor, our Live Learning Platform gives you access to video chat, document sharing, a virtual whiteboard and more. You'll be able to attend sessions from your home, your favorite coffee shop, or even a local library. You have so many choices that it should be virtually stress-free to fit studying for the Bar into your schedule.

How do I get started with Pennsylvania Bar prep near me?

Whether you're enrolling in a class or choose to meet with a private educator, simply contact Varsity Tutors to speak to one of our friendly educational consultants. They can answer any questions you have and get the information they need to set you up with a Pennsylvania Bar preparation program that meets your academic and scheduling needs.

Contact us today to connect with a top Pennsylvania Bar Exam instructor