Bar Admission


Colorado Bar Admission

To obtain a license to practice law in Colorado, you must:

  • Receive a J.D. from an accredited law school.
  • Take the Practicing with Professionalism Course offered by the Colorado Bar Association.
  • Pass the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) (with a scaled score of at least 85).
  • Apply for admission to the Colorado Office of Attorney Admissions.
    • Please note that when you apply for bar admission, the Office of Attorney Admissions will request a certificate of graduation and a copy of your law school application.  The Law School will complete this on your behalf, but you must first submit the following authorization form to the Law School (hard copies of the form are available outside the Registrar's office). You can either email the form to lawreg@colorado.edu from your @colorado.edu email address or turn in a hard copy to the FORMS box outside the Registrar's office. You do NOT need to separately submit a LX Form 5 to our office. We will send these items directly to the Office of Attorney Admissions once all grades are finalized. 
  • Pass Colorado's Uniform Bar Exam (with a scaled score of at least 276).
  • Meet the character and fitness requirements set forth by the Colorado Office of Attorney Admissions.

The above checklist is provided for your convenience only. To avoid any surprises, visit the Colorado Supreme Court website to make sure you have the most complete and up-to-date information about the admission requirements. Students should also visit the Colorado Supreme Court – Board of Bar Examiners website and review the bar application questionnaire to learn about the character and fitness requirements and the bar application process. 

We recommend you begin your application no later October 1 for the February 2015 exam (which has a December 1st deadline), and no later than January 1 for the July 2015 exam (which has an April 1st deadline). (Please note that after 2015, the deadline for the February exam will change to November 1st.) If you need your application notarized, the following individuals in the law school are notaries:

Extensive personal histories and official records need to be compiled in order to complete the application; this information can take weeks to months to gather.  Please also refer to the character & fitness page for more information about required disclosures and available assistance.

Admission in Other States

Each state maintains its own rules and regulations regarding the licensing of attorneys and has its own bar examination. The ABA provides a Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements, which contains a synopsis of each state’s bar admission requirements and relevant dates. BarExam.info is another free website that lists bar exam information for all U.S. jurisdictions, including deadlines, subjects tested, the format of the exam, and more. However, you should always refer to the state’s office of attorney admissions website as the information can change at any time. We encourage you to look into these requirements and dates as soon as possible during your third year, as some of the requirements can take some time to complete (e.g., pro bono hours). 

Please email lawreg@colorado.edu if you need specific paperwork filled out, your application forwarded, or a transcript sent to a state other than Colorado.  Please include in your email any relevant due dates for these materials. Again, we will certify your graduation only after grades are final and you have completed all graduation requirements.

Additional Information

Informational Programs

As part of its Skills Series, our CDO offers two bar-related informational programs: 

  • Meeting the Character & Fitness Requirements for Colorado Bar Admission
  • The Nuts & Bolts of the Bar

These programs are intended to teach students:

  • How and when to apply to the bar
  • What is included in every application
  • What information needs to be gathered in advance
  • Eligibility requirements for bar admission

We are also available to meet individually with students who have confidential questions pertaining to their admission.

 

Success Strategies for the Bar Exam

To maximize your chance of success on the bar exam, please consider doing the following:

  • Make sure you understand the bar exam process, the components of the exam, and the topics that will be tested. To see what topics you will be tested on, look at the Supreme Court website for the state in which you are taking the exam. Colorado has adopted the Uniform Bar Exam.
  • Take a commercial prep course that offers at least 2,000 practice questions, practice essay grading, and at least one simulated exam experience.
  • Plan to treat bar study as more than a full-time job during June and July.
    • Estimated hours: 40-55 per week
    • To the extent possible, avoid significant other commitments during this time
  • Do practice questions; simulate exam conditions
  • Study all topics 
  • Take at least a few bar exam topic classes during law school, especially if you struggle with exams. Get a full list and schedule of bar exam topic classes that Colorado Law offers.
  • Have a plan for addressing questions that are entirely unfamiliar.
  • If test anxiety is an issue, seek out resources now so that you can practice new skills for managing test anxiety during law school exams.

 

 

Bar Exam Review Courses

All students should take a bar exam review course prior to sitting for the exam. Here are the four bar exam review companies that offer review courses to Colorado Law students:

Choosing the review course that works best for you is an important decision. You should make sure you are comfortable with the review course’s materials and format before enrolling in the course. Here are some of the questions you should think about when considering which bar exam review course to enroll in:

  • What is the delivery method for the course content and does it work for your learning style?
  • How does the review course keep you engaged during the lectures?
  • How many questions does the review course offer for the MBE (multiple choice)? Is there an explanation available for each practice question? How does the course teach you to learn from the practice questions you complete?
  • How does the review course provide feedback on practice essays (MEE and MPT)? How many questions can you submit for feedback?
  • Does the review course offer practice exams under exam-like conditions? How many and at what times?
  • Can you watch/listen to a sample lecture before signing up?
  • What is the review course’s passage rate for Colorado Law graduates in Colorado?
  • How does the review course enable you to prepare to study?
  • What materials are available to help you get up to speed on topics that are unfamiliar to you?
  • How much does the review course cost?

Visit the course websites and speak with the review course student representatives to find the answers to these questions. Once you understand what each review course is offering, the most important thing to consider is what type of learning works best for you. Knowing how you learn best—and making sure you will have adequate opportunity to practice and receive feedback—will go a long way toward choosing the right review course for you. 

Financial Aid and the Bar

Students may work with a Financial Aid Counselor to include the cost of the bar exam in their cost of attendance and to increase their federal student loans to cover the actual cost. Students will need to provide documentation showing payment for the exam during the last semester they are enrolled in law school.

Private bar loans are another option to assist in covering bar exam related expenses, but should be considered carefully as they must be repaid according to the terms set by the relevant lender and do not qualify for consolidation or any student loan repayment programs. Make sure that you understand these terms, and follow up with your lender if you have any questions.

Also keep in mind that loans can take a few weeks to process. Typically, once you are approved for a loan, the funds will be mailed directly to you. The check may take some time to clear after you deposit it. It is important that you apply for the loan early enough to meet any deadlines (such as your bar application fee deadline).