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At the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, preparation for the bar exam is a process that begins with First Week and continues through passage of the exam. The Office of Student Affairs provides programs and resources to students throughout the application and bar preparation process. For more information, visit or email us at

First Year of Law School First Week - Bar preparation for all Bowen students starts with First Week. This program is integral to developing the core skills and knowledge needed for academic success and bar exam passage. Entering students take an extra week of one of their required courses and receive extensive training on law school success skills through a first-day training program and the BEST Structured Study Groups. Required Courses - Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Torts, Property, and Contracts are subjects that are always tested on the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) and frequently on the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE)/state-specific bar exam essays. They have been identified by the Board of Law Examiners of all jurisdictions as subjects associated with minimum competencies for licensed attorneys. The law school’s nationally ranked legal research and writing program provides the introductory skills needed to answer MEE questions as well as the Multistate Performance Test (MPT).

BEST Program Structured Study Groups - Each new student is placed in a small peer group consisting of four to six students who are taking the same classes. Groups meet twice per week each week and are facilitated by a Dean’s Fellow who has been trained on facilitating small-group work. Through the Structured Study Groups, students learn study strategies that apply equally well to law school and the bar exam and about the process and timing of applying for the bar, including character and fitness qualifications.

Required Courses - Constitutional Law and Evidence, also identified as core competencies by Boards of Law Examiners in every jurisdiction, are always tested on the MBE. The school’s second-year Lawyering Skills courses teach the advanced skills needed to effectively respond to the more than 14 potential tasks on the MPT. Legal Profession is essential for scoring well on the Multistate Responsibility Exam (MPRE), which is required for licensure in all but three jurisdictions. MPT Simulation - All students enrolled in Lawyering Skills I must now complete a practice Multistate Performance Test administered under simulated test conditions as part of the required course curriculum. Students will receive feedback using a grading rubric to identify skills strengths and weaknesses. Bar Recommended Courses - Second-year students will be encouraged through academic advising to take bar courses. These courses are associated with topics that are tested on the MEE/state-specific essay portion of the bar exam. Students should take as many of these courses as possible before graduation.

Second Year of Law School

Courses: Business Associations, Commercial Paper, Secured Transactions, Conflict of Laws, Criminal Procedure Pre-Trial, Family Law, Remedies, Sales Transactions, Decedents’ Estates Bar Prep Skills Course - The new Introduction to Bar Exam Prep Skills course is a one-credit hour, pass/fail course specifically designed for 2L students to introduce them to the skills and knowledge they will need to pass the bar exam. This course provides an introduction to the MPRE, MBE, MEE, and MPT components of the bar exam. BEST Program Workshops - The MPT Workshop provides an overview of strategies for success on the MPT portion of the bar exam and will be offered each fall prior to the Lawyering Skills I MPT simulation. The MPRE Workshop is offered the Saturday prior to each administration of the MPRE and includes a half-day comprehensive review of the relevant areas of legal ethics followed by a practice MPRE. Other workshops on topics such as the application process and character and fitness requirements will also be offered during the year.

Third Year of Law School Bar Prep Skills Course - The new pass/fail, three-credit hour Advanced Bar Exam Prep Skills course is specifically designed to prepare third-year students with the critical skills, techniques, protocols, and frameworks that are essential to maximize their bar exam preparation and to pass the bar exam. It incorporates extensive practice on three MBE and three MEE subjects. Bar Recommended Courses - Third-year students continue to take bar courses. Taking these courses should be a high priority.

MBE Competition - All third-year students are eligible to compete in the Bowen Multistate Bar Exam Competition. The student who completes the largest number of practice MBE questions and who also, for each question, explains why the correct answer is correct and the wrong answers are wrong, will be awarded a significant bar review course discount. Students who complete at least 200 practice questions and the required explanations will be eligible to enter a drawing for a smaller bar review course discount.

BarBri Essay Advantage Workshop - This one-day workshop introduces the Essay Advantage method designed to help students overcome the obstacles that can prevent them from passing the MEE/ state-specific essays. It is available for FREE to all graduating February and July bar exam takers. Students must put down a $75 deposit via cash or check; Bowen pays the other $75 of the $150 total price. Once a student has completed the entire workshop and the three follow-up essay exercises, the law school refunds his or her deposit.

After Graduation Commercial Bar Review Course (Bowen does not offer commercial courses) - It is essential that all graduates purchase a commercial bar review course (e.g., Kaplan or BarBri). Research studies continue to show that failing to complete a commercial bar review course (including regular attendance and completion of assignments and practice tests) substantially increases the risk of failing the bar exam even for students who had a high LSAT and high law school GPAs.

For more information, visit bar-preparation-services/ or email us at

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Bowen Concurrent Bar Prep Course - This free program is offered for both February and July bar exam takers who have purchased a BarBri or Kaplan commercial bar review course. It emphasizes practice time using collaborative learning techniques, expert learning skills and frequent peer and instructor feedback to structure graduates’ bar preparation. Research shows that students who attend complete both a commercial bar review course and their school’s concurrent bar prep program greatly enhance their chances of passing the bar on their first try.

WILLIAM H. BOWEN SCHOOL OF LAW 1201 McMath Avenue Little Rock, AR 72202

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Bar Preparation Resources  

Information on Bowen's resources for bar preparation.

Bar Preparation Resources  

Information on Bowen's resources for bar preparation.