Sitting for the Bar

by Andy Hough on October 22, 2009

Yesterday, I finally got around to starting the application process to sit for the February bar exam. I already missed the October 1 deadline to avoid paying late fees and if I don’t have my application submitted before November 1 the fee is going to go up again. The fee is already over $1000 so I really don’t want to pay any more than that. If I had completed my character and fitness application when I was a 1L or 2L the cost would have been about half as much. Oh well, it is too late to worry about that now.

I’m not sure if I will be able to get this application completed by the end of the month. I need to get my fingerprints taken, go to the DMV and have a copy of my driving record sent to the office of the bar examiners, and get a certified copy of my birth certificate sent to them as well. This is on top of completing the actual application. I spent a little over an hour on the application yesterday and I think I still have a long way to go to complete it. Some of the questions, such as listing every place you have lived since you were 18, are probably not that big of a deal for a 25 year old but for a peripatetic 42 year old like me this is an extremely complicated question. Using my credit report and my tax returns I should be able to give a reasonably correct accounting of where I have lived but it will be difficult. There are some other questions as well that are going to much more complicated for me to answer than the average person.

After the exam fee, bar prep fees, and all of the other fees I will incur in preparation for the bar I expect to be out over $5,000. I’m not sure if taking the exam is worth it since I do not especially want to be a lawyer. However, since I have spent so much money and time on law school it seems like I should become an attorney rather than let all of my schooling go to waste.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Ann November 13, 2009 at 1:26 pm

I’m sure you know this, but on top of the costs of becoming a lawyer, there are costs in remaining a lawyer. In my state, annual bar dues and mandatory CLE classes run $1,000 a year or more, although some states allow “inactive” memberships with lower costs.

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