Law Students

These States Have the Easiest Bar Exams
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Summary: These ten states allegedly have the easiest bar exams.

When lawyers take the state bar exam, the decision is based on where they want to live and practice, not how easy the test is. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to have the stats on the states where you can have a little more confidence than your peers studying in the super competitive states like California or New York.


Professor Robert Anderson of Pepperdine analyzed every states’ bar passage rate as well as the LSAT scores of the test takers to create a ranking of the hardest exam to the easiest. To Anderson, there truly was a great divide in difficulty based on location.

“Some bars are so easy you could accidentally get admitted to them by walking too close to the testing center,” Anderson wrote. “Some bars are so difficult that the former Stanford Law School dean could fail them.”

South Dakota was declared the easiest bar exam, with a whopping 93% of test takers passing in 2013.

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Wisconsin was named the second easiest bar exam. According to lawschooli, even though the cheese state oozed into the number two spot, it should’ve been number one.

“Just so we all know, by far the easiest bar is Wisconsin’s bar, provided you went to law school in the state,” lawschooli said. “Wisconsin has a “diploma privilege” such that these students don’t even have to take the bar to pass and become full lawyers!”

The next easiest states were Alabama, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Anderson explained the ease of Missouri in terms of its MBE, which are the minimum passing scores for bar exams.

“The Missouri bar requires a MBE score of 130, which is what a person with a LSAT score of less than 140 (!) would expect to score on the MBE,” Anderson wrote.

Finishing off the top ten, Iowa ranked seventh followed by Montana, Michigan, and New Mexico.

Do you agree or disagree with this list? Let us know in the comments below! 


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