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The Multistate Bar Examination, commonly known as the MBE test, is an assessment of fundamental legal principles. This test is used by almost all of the jurisdictions in the United States, although the relative importance of the exam as compared to other factors varies among jurisdictions.
This exam focuses more on the basics of legal practice than on local precedent or statutory law. The MBE is offered twice a year: on the last Wednesday of February and the last Wednesday of July. The exam usually takes about six hours to complete and is typically divided into a morning and an evening session.
The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, all but 10 of which count toward the final score (the other 10 questions are included to develop future versions of the exam). The questions fall into six categories:
- The Constitutional Law section of the MBE (31 questions) touches on the general subjects of the nature of judicial review, the separation of powers, the relation of nation and states in a federal system, and individual rights.
- The Contracts section (33 questions) includes questions related to the formation of contracts; defenses to enforceability; parol evidence and interpretation; performance, breach, and discharge; remedies; and third-party rights.
- The questions in the Criminal Law and Procedure section (31 questions) cover homicide, other crimes, inchoate crimes and parties to inchoate crimes, general principles, and the constitutional protection of accused persons.
- The Evidence section (31 questions) includes questions about the presentation of evidence; relevancy and reasons for excluding relevant evidence; privileges and other policy exclusions; writings, recordings, and photographs; and hearsay and the circumstances of its admissibility.
- The section on Real Property (31 questions) divides questions equally among ownership, rights in land, contracts, mortgages and security devices, and titles.
- The Torts section (33 questions) covers the following general issues: intentional torts, negligence, strict liability, and products liability.
A candidate's score on the MBE is based on the number of questions answered correctly. This means unanswered questions are worth the same amount as questions answered incorrectly, so test takers should make their best guess if unsure of the answer. The number of questions answered correctly produces the raw score, which is then converted to a scaled score according to an algorithm that takes into account the relative difficulty of the test version.
To become a lawyer is a challenging yet rewarding career. People who enter this field must be able to take a stand and fight for a cause. They must have strong moral convictions and opinions. A lawyer is someone who has the ability to interpret the law and build a case in his or her client's favor. It takes years of training, education, and experience to progress in the field.
The first thing a person needs to do is determine the state he or she wishes to practice law in. He or she then needs to determine which schools offers this specialty. A Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score and a good grade point average (GPA) are required for admission to a law school. After three years of full-time study completing law school, the student must pass a state bar association exam and a character and fitness evaluation.
Once these requirements are met, the student is allowed to practice law in his or her field. Let's take a look at some of these specialties and their salary range:
- This type of lawyer works with producers, musicians, authors, and other artists to negotiate deals and handle legal matters such as contracts, financing, and distribution. They may be involved in patent and trademark rights. These lawyers are considered transactional, and a top lawyer salary may be between $400,000 and $5 million a year. There are other types of entertainment lawyers who are litigators, and they handle lawsuits. Earnings for litigation entertainment lawyers can be in the seven figures as well.
- The human rights lawyer defends or prosecutes to protect the human rights of his or her clients, such as a breach of one's Constitutional rights. Some cases of human rights involve torture and abuse in both government and nongovernment sectors. A human rights lawyer salary can be between $100,000 and $200,000 a year. The highest salaries are earned in the government sectors.
- A tax lawyer is usually consulted to help answer questions about tax law and help people find deductions in for their personal or business filings. They are an essential part of any business and help companies comply with tax codes. Many tax lawyers have master's degrees in finance and can earn approximately $150,000 a year.
- A trademark lawyer helps to protect the intellectual property of a product, phrase, or slogan. The law prevents other companies from copying and profiting from the original idea without paying royalties. The trademark lawyer can help a business file for a trademark and represent a client in case of trademark infringement. The salary for a rookie trademark attorney may begin at $50,000 and can extend to $200,000 for experienced trademark attorneys in larger firms.
- A trial attorney is someone who has a good knowledge of all aspects of the law and represents a person in court. Sometimes, these attorneys are court appointed, and other times, defendants may have to pay fees. Either way, the trial attorney guides a client through the legal process and court proceedings. The average trial attorney makes $74,000 a year, with many making over $100,000.
- A real estate lawyer is an important part of any real estate deal, whether it is buying or selling a home. Real estate law is considered one of the most complicated specialties to consider because of all the civil and bylaws the professional needs to be familiar with. On the upside to this profession are the potential earnings a real estate lawyer can demand. Most charge a few hundred dollars an hour to review and sign paperwork. The amount of hours worked, experience in the field, and school attended will determine the amount people are willing to pay. The salary range of a real estate lawyer is between $99,000 and $165,000 a year.
Last Updated: 02/20/2014