Bar Preparation Services

At Bowen, preparation for the bar exam is a process that begins during the first week of classes and continues through passage of the exam. The Office of Student Affairs provides advice and resources to students throughout the application and bar preparation process. December graduates planning to take the February bar exam should begin their application during the summer between their second and third year; May graduates taking the bar exam in July should begin their application by the beginning of their final semester.

First Year

First year students begin building a strong foundation by completing the first-year required curriculum (Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Torts, Property, and Contracts). Completion of these courses provide a head start on bar exam preparation because these areas of the law are tested more heavily on the exam than material from courses taken during the second and third years. Through the Bowen Expert Student Training Program structured study groups and workshops students also learn about the process and timing of applying for the bar, including character and fitness qualifications.

Second Year

Second year students are encouraged to find out which topics are tested on the bar exam in each state where they plan to take the exam and to enroll in as many bar tested courses as possible. Second year students are also encouraged to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) during their second year after completion of the Legal Profession course.

Second year students will also have the opportunity to attend a Bowen Expert Student Training Program workshop covering the Multistate Performance Test (MPT). They will also be required to complete a MPT under test conditions as part of the Lawyering Skills I course. Students will receive peer and faculty feedback on their performance in an effort to improve comfort and readiness for this component of the Arkansas bar exam.

Third Year

Third year students should continue to make course selections with the bar exam in mind. Students sitting for the next February or July bar exam are highly encouraged to register for the “Preparing for the Bar Exam” academic course. The class covers a broad overview of the bar exam and its components, exploration and practice of study strategies and ways of preparing for the bar exam, and intensive studying of the skills necessary to excel on the essay, multiple choice, and performance portions of the bar examination.

Bowen students should also enroll in Barbri’s Essay Advantage program and take part in the Bowen Multistate Bar Exam Competition.

The Barbri Essay Advantage program teaches methods designed to help students overcome the obstacles that often prevent students from performing well on the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) portions of the Arkansas Bar Examination. It focuses on teaching techniques for identifying testable issues, fact analysis, and maximizing organizational skills to effectively communicate thoughts. BarBri Essay Advantage is provided at no charge to students who participate in the entire program.

Research confirms that students need to complete at least 2,400 practice Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) questions as part of their bar preparation activities. The Bowen Multistate Bar Exam Competition is an annual program where student’s attempt to complete the most correctly answered MBE questions during the competition. At the end of the competition period, the student with the highest number of correctly answered questions in each division will receive a full commercial bar prep course scholarship.

After Graduation

Bowen is committed to the success of its graduates on the bar exam. This commitment continues after graduation and throughout the bar exam preparation process. Our philosophy for post-graduation bar preparation is that it should be based on a combination of a commercial bar review course, a concurrent bar prep program, and structured self-study. Active and regular attendance and commitment with each component are essential to passing the Arkansas bar exam.

The Bowen Concurrent Bar Preparation Program is FREE to all graduates. The program runs concurrently with students’ commercial Arkansas bar review course and supplements and complements the commercial bar preparation course by offering a more tailored and individualistic approach to bar preparation than is possible with a commercial bar review course. The program is not a regurgitation of the substantive law outlines or videos, but instead it focuses on extensive practice time with MBE and MEE subjects using collaborative techniques involving small groups and partners. The program also includes a full simulation of the MPT component of the Arkansas bar exam.