Most states require applicants to have completed all requirements for graduation before sitting for the Bar Examination. In Florida, for instance, if one takes the Bar Examination without having received the Juris Doctor degree, the score is impounded and eventually invalidated, and the test-taker may be called for an investigative hearing for violating the rules governing admission to the Bar.
In most jurisdictions, the Bar Examination is given on the last Tuesday and Wednesday in both February and July. The Bar Examination is given in some jurisdictions on Wednesday and Thursday, thereby making it possible for one to take two bar examinations concurrently. One should consult the website of each jurisdiction to see if concurrent testing is possible. If one sits for the Bar Examination concurrently in two different jurisdictions, the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE—Wednesday portion of the examination) may count toward admission in both states.
Florida Bar Exam & Logistics
First review the Florida Bar Exam Virtual Tour. The Florida Bar Examination is administered at the Tampa Convention Center. Most test-takers choose to stay in a hotel within walking or a short driving distance of the Convention Center. The Florida Bar of Board Examiners' website, under FAQ, describes what you may bring into the examination room. The site also includes other test-taking information, such as details on using ExamSoft to take the examination.
Tampa Hotel Accommodations
Students should make their hotel reservations no later than the end of your second year at Miami Law. It is imperative that a student has reservations for accommodations for the Bar Examination well in advance of the event, whether for February or July. A complete listing of Tampa Bay area accommodations is readily available. The hotels are listed from closest to farthest from the Tampa Convention Center. There are many other good accommodations within easy commuting distance at perhaps significantly reduced prices. In order to compare rates, it is suggested that one contacts the hotel directly, tries using the hotel website or 800-number, or attempts to use other travel web sites in order to secure the best rate possible. Please do not hesitate to e-mail Dean VanderWyden for additional recommendations.
Getting To the Exam Location in Tampa
Any student taking the Bar exam should be walking through the turnstiles at the Tampa Convention Center by 8:30 a.m in a relaxed state. That means having already checked in downstairs at the street level, deposited any contraband in the check room, and used the rest room by 8:30 a.m.
Luncheon in Tampa
The School provides a buffet luncheon for Miami Law students on both Tuesday and Wednesday in a Ballroom on the street level of the Tampa Convention Center (down the escalator from the Examination Hall). The buffet consists of cold cuts—meats and cheeses, salads, rolls, desserts, tea, coffee and water.
Some neighboring states offer reciprocity. Florida does not grant reciprocity, and those who elect to take the Bar Examination in Florida after being admitted in another jurisdiction must sit for the entire Bar Examination once again, including the Multistate portion of the examination they've already passed.
Information on Other State Bar Exams
The National Conference of Bar Examiners’ website has links to each state’s Bar Admissions Offices, Admissions Procedures and Rules, Multistate Test Dates and Information, Character and Fitness, and Bar Exam Statistics. The BarBri website, www.barbri.com also contains specific information regarding the exam format, subjects tested, exam dates and filing fees and deadlines, grading results and reciprocity for every state.
Lastly, remember to be diligent, then confident and relaxed on the day of the Bar Exam. For any questions along the way, please e-mail Dean VanderWyden.