Law School Discussion

How Hard is the VA Bar?

How Hard is the VA Bar?
« on: February 24, 2010, 08:32:57 PM »

I go to school in PA and want to practice in the DC/VA/MD area, where I'm from. I'm not sure which bar to take. 

I know that passing the bar in any state will allow me to practice in DC.  So should I take MD or VA?  What makes the VA Bar so hard, and how does MD measure up? The bar passage rate in VA (in the 70s) don't seem that scary, but I have heard it is a really tough exam.  I don't have the best law school grades so keep in mind that I'm probably more likely than most to fail. :)

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated! Thank you.


Re: How Hard is the VA Bar?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2010, 08:33:50 PM »
*the bar passage rate DOESN'T seem that scary.  Sorry for the poor grammar!

Re: How Hard is the VA Bar?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2010, 07:08:54 AM »
I didn't take the VA bar, but I took the NY Bar. All I can say is, do NOT pay attention to how purportedly "difficult/easy" others say it is! I didn't have the best grades, either, and I'm not even from New York so I did have some apprehension taking it. I passed. On the first try. Your law school grades have nothing to do with it. Just take Bar/bri, and do everything they tell you to do, study-wise. If you do that, you WILL pass. NO QUESTION! You need to take the bar in the state where you want to practice, and not be deterred by how purportedly "hard"/"easy" it is. And, honestly? I've now taken two bar exams, NY and Michigan, and for how purportedly "difficult" NY is, I actually found New York to be a bit easier, difficulty-wise. So please don't fret! :) :) You will do fine!!!!!


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Re: How Hard is the VA Bar?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2010, 02:29:20 PM »
VA requires you to dress up to take the bar. I would find that pretty annoying.

MD has a reputation as being pretty easy. NY pass rates are lower than they should be because they let non-JD people take the bar (they have a 30% pass rate or so). The ABA pass rate is around 90% in NY.

Re: How Hard is the VA Bar?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 06:31:41 PM »
I'm taking VA this summer.  Last summer I asked lots of folks at my firm about MD vs VA.  Universal consensus is that VA is much harder, more expensive, has CLE (MD doesn't), requires the MPRE (MD doesn't, but you might need it to waive into DC) and doesn't make you dress funny.  I've always done things the hard way though so VA it is:)

BTW suit + sneakers is required dress code in VA.

Also, the bar location is in some remote part of the state, so if you live in the DC metro area a hotel is probably required for a couple of nights.

Re: How Hard is the VA Bar?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2010, 09:55:29 AM »
Thank you so much for your responses! I think I am going to take VA.

And yes I just foung out that you have to dress up in business attire to take the bar, that seems so strange.

Thank you again for the encouragement and feedback!