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Preparing for the Bar Exam

This research guide highlights useful resources for completing your bar exam application, provides an overview of UNC School of Law’s bar preparation offerings, and identifies some test-taking strategies and tips for success on the bar exam.


Online Study Aids Collection

Online Study Aids Collection

UNC School of Law graduates will continue to have access to the online study aids collections while their Onyens remains valid. The online study aids collection includes two types of resources for bar exam review: (1) titles that review tested subjects, and (2) titles that address bar examination preparation and test-taking strategies.

The following list provides links to those online collections and highlights some of the available titles that focus on bar examination preparation. This is not a full list of bar prep materials available through each of these websites. Search the collections for the books from the following list and more.

Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aid Library

Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aid Library

The Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aid Library provides access to hundreds of study aids, including the Examples & ExplanationsGlannon Guides, and Emanuel's series. UNC Law graduates can access the WK Study Aid Library through this link. Subject specific study guides are available in written, video, and audio formats. The following are examples of titles specifically dedicated to bar exam preparation available through the Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aid Library:

Book Summary Sample MBE Questions Sample MPT Questions Sample Essay Questions
Bar Exam Survival by Michael Stockman Tips and tricks on preparing for the bar exam and how to manage stress and anxiety      
What Not to Write: Real Essays, Real Scores, Real Feedback (multiple states available) Step-by-step guidance on how to successfully write the answer to a bar exam essay or PT question    
Steve Emanuel’s Bootcamp for the MBE series, including Criminal Law and Procedure; Constitutional Law; Torts; Contracts Outline format that focuses on the topics and rules of law that that the MBE examiners test in the various subject areas. Also includes model answers.      


West Study Aids

Law students have access to numerous study aids published by West Academic through the West Study Aids database. This collection includes Nutshells, Short & Happy Guides, and Gilbert's. UNC Law graduates can access the bar review materials in West Study Aids database through this link. West Academic also includes a separate Bar Exam Success category under Academic/Career Success. Bar prep titles include the following: 

Book Summary Sample MBE Questions Sample MPT Questions Sample Essay Questions
Acing the Bar Exam by Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus Focuses on the Uniform Bar Exam and provides advice on how to tackle all aspects with a few sample questions.          
A Short & Happy Guide to the Bar Exam's Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) by Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus & Irene McDermott Sole focus is the Multistate Essay Examination. Identifies every issue and sub-issue tested on the MEE over the past 14 years.      
Exam Pro Bar Prep Workbook Revised by Steve I. Friedland Provides guidance on how to write a “top-notch” essay      
The Essential Rules for Bar Exam Success by Steve I. Friedland & Jeffrey S. Shapiro  Contains a workbook chapter that provides the basic protocol for addressing specific legal subjects as well as “big questions” and essays.      
The Bar Exam in a Nutshell by Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus Focuses on the UBE and provides explanations of each component and how to prepare for it.   
A Short & Happy Guide to Conquering the MBE by Don L. Doernberg and Cynthia A. Pope Step-by-step process for attacking every multiple-choice question in every MBE subject, with lots of examples    
Bar Exam Success: A Comprehensive Guide by Sara J. Berman  Also available in audio format. Tips and strategies for how to approach the individual sections of the bar exam as well as preparing for the test. Discusses MPT strategies but does not provide sample questions.


LexisNexis Digital Library

LexisNexis Digital Library 

Law students have access to numerous study aids published by Lexis through the LexisNexis Digital Library. This collection includes the Understanding series. UNC Law graduates can access the LexisNexis Digital Library through this link. Bar preparation titles include: 

Books Summary Sample MBE Questions Sample MPT Questions Sample Essay Questions
Pass the Bar! By Denise Riebe and Michael Hunter Schwartz Comprehensive overview of the pre-bar review, bar review, and bar exam process
The Zen of Passing the Bar Exam by Chad Noreuil Comprehensive approach to studying for (and passing) the bar exam  


Academic Excellence Program at UNC School of Law

Academic Excellence Program at UNC School of Law

Bar Success Program

Carolina Law's Bar Success Program offers upper-division students and alumni:

  • An online interactive forum where students can learn more about the bar exam, use bar preparation resources, and monitor their progress;
  • Workshops on critical preparation topics, such as bar student strategies, essay exam writing, time management and stress management;
  • Individualized practice essay feedback and tutoring; and
  • One-on-one and small group bar coaching.

Students receive information about the Bar Success program beginning in the spring semester of their 2L year. For more details about the program, please contact O.J. Salinas, Director of the Academic Excellence Program and Clinical Associate Professor of Law.

UNC School of Law Courses

UNC School of Law Courses

Applied Legal Concepts I

Offered in the Fall semester. This course provides a review of legal concepts in three subjects as students develop the skills essential for success on bar examinations and as new practicing attorneys. Applied Legal Concepts I focuses on concepts in constitutional law, contracts, and torts.

Applied Legal Concepts II

Offered in the Spring semester. This course provides a review of critical legal concepts in three subjects as students develop the skills essential for success on bar examinations and as new practicing attorneys. Applied Legal Concepts II focuses on criminal law and procedure, evidence, and property.

Writing for the Bar

Offered in the Spring semester. Students will (1) review commonly tested document types (such as memos, briefs, and client letters) and foundational research skills for assessing legal authorities and litigation documents, (2) gain familiarity with the MPT and the way it is assessed, and (3) write multiple MPTs throughout the semester. In addition, students will study the genre of UBE essays and practice writing UBE essays. Students will receive from the professor individual, formative feedback—learning-focused comments, not just scores or grades—on practice MPTs and bar essays. Students will also learn how to self-assess their practice MPTs and essays.

UBE Resources & Past Exams

Uniform Bar Examination Resources

Understanding the Uniform Bar Examination

The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) offers a helpful overview of the UBE that outlines its three component parts, along with information about the transfer of UBE scores to different jurisdictions.

Study Aids and Practice Exams for the UBE

The NCBE offers access to a variety of practice exams and study aids for the UBE, including previous examinations of the MBE, MEE, and MPT.

Uniform Bar Examination - Past Exams

The UNC Law Library and the Academic Excellence Program both carry print copies of past exams for the Multistate Performance Test (MPT)  and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE). The following years are currently available:

  • 2014: February/July
  • 2015: February/July
  • 2016 - February/July
  • 2017 - February/July
  • 2018 - February

Students are welcome to use these materials as they prepare for the bar examination.