Bar Exam Preparation

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Our goal is that all alumni feel supported during the registration, studying, and taking of their respective bar examination after graduating from UNC Law. Faculty and staff work to provide an excellent set of programs and services to help students prepare and pass.

Assistance with Applying for the Bar Exam Including the Character and Fitness Portion

Sharon Sessoms and Lisa Johnson in the Registrar’s Office handle Dean’s Certifications. For all other questions regarding applying to the bar exam or the character and fitness portion of the bar exam, contact Assistant Dean of Student Services, John Kasprzak , or Director of Student Development, Hannah Camenzind.

For information on taking the NC Bar exam for alumni transferring from other states, contact John Kasprzak at 919.843.9076 or kasprzak@email.unc.edu.

Assistance with Studying for the Bar Exam

The SOAR program, led by Assistant Dean for Academic Excellence, Jon McClanahan, offers weekly workshops throughout the summer on critical non-doctrinal preparation topics, such as essay exam-writing, time management and relaxation. In addition, SOAR connects former students to each other, to information about the North Carolina State Bar and to practice exercises online through Blackboard. The SOAR director is also available to meet with students who are struggling in their preparation or who would like to have practice essay questions reviewed for their effectiveness.

For more information on the SOAR program or if you have specific questions about preparing for the bar exam, please contact Assistant Dean for Academic Excellence, Jon McClanahan.

Bar Lunch

For alumni taking the July bar exam in North Carolina, the Office of Alumni Affairs hosts an onsite lunch during the testing break of both days and at both locations. The lunch provides a comfortable air conditioned space for test-takers, and relieves the stress of packaging or purchasing lunches on the exam dates. To sign up or for more information, please contact Hannah Camenzind.

Managing Bar-Related Expenses

For most students, their law school education culminates in the bar exam. It’s important to consider the expenses associated with the bar exam before graduation: you don’t want to worry about your cash flow while trying to study. Bar exam fees vary greatly, depending on the state. For most recent graduates taking the North Carolina Bar, you’ll pay $825 in application and laptop fees. Many students decide to enroll in a bar review course. This cost also fluctuates depending on the program (and state) but could easily cost $2,000-$4,000. While preparing for the bar, you need to know how much money you have coming in and how much money you’re paying out. This spending plan will give you an idea of costs to consider, including things you’ve already considered (like mortgage or rent) and some things you may not have remembered (like insurance). If you have more expenses than income, you’ll want to consider making adjustments to your spending or finding additional sources of income.

Seeking Bar Loans

If you need to finance costs associated with the bar exam – bar exam fees, bar review course fees, living expenses while you’re studying for the bar – you may consider applying for a bar loan. Bar loans are private loans specifically for law students and recent law graduates. As a private loan, your credit history and credit score are used to determine approval and interest rate. Depending on your credit, you may require a co-signer for approval – or may want a co-signer for a lower interest rate. At least four lending institutions offer a bar loan. Apply on your chosen lender’s website, and UNC School of Law will be notified to confirm your student status. Once the loan has been processed by the lender, you will receive the funds directly (not through ConnectCarolina).

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


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