Tips on Taking Colorado Bar Exam

So you have completed your law school education and now you are ready to take your final steps towards becoming a Colorado lawyer. It is now time to face the daunting task of taking the Colorado Bar Exam. The Colorado Bar Exam has a pass rate between 61-72%, so you have a good chance of passing if you prepare properly for it. There are many things that you will need to know before you sit for the Colorado Bar Exam including: application procedures, testing format, and what will be covered on the exam. This article will provide you with this information and hopefully arm you with the knowledge needed to prepare for the great challenge of sitting for the Colorado Bar Exam.

Application Procedure

Board of Law Examiners
600 17th Street, Suite 520-S
Denver, Colorado 80202
(303) 893-8096

In order to qualify to sit for the Colorado Bar Exam you will (1) need to have graduated from an ABA approved law school with a Juris Doctorate, and (2) pass the MPRE with a score of at least 85.

Colorado does have a reciprocity program, so you may be able to be admitted to the Colorado Bar on a motion if you meet the following requirements: (1) you graduated from an ABA approved law school, (2) you have been admitted to practice law in a state that allows Colorado lawyers to be admitted on a motion, (3) you are actively practicing in the state that you are licensed, and (4) you have practiced law for five of the last seven years.

For more information about taking the MPRE you can write to the address below for a testing application packet.

National Conference of Bar Examiners
P.O. Box 4001
Iowa City, Iowa 52243

To download or request a complete application packet with testing information, requirements, and general information you will need to visit the Colorado State Bar website at the address listed above. After you receive your packet you will need to fill out all of the forms and submit them by the stated deadlines, and you will need to enclose the appropriate application, examination, and late fees. These fees change annually, however, to give you an idea of the costs to expect the 2006 fees were $475 for non-attorney applications, $500 for attorney application fees, $100 laptop fee, and $200 late fee.

Testing Format

The Colorado Bar Exam lasts two days, and it is given twice a year. Once in late February, and once in late January.

On day one of the Colorado Bar Exam you will be given nine essay questions and two Multistate Performance Test questions.

On the second and final day of the Colorado Bar Exam you will take the Multistate Bar Exam which consists of 200 multiple choice questions.

To pass the Colorado Bar Exam you will need a total score of 276. Scoring of the Colorado Bar Exam is based on the following formula: MBE Scale Score + (Essay Scale Score + Performance Test Score) = Colorado Bar Exam score.

Study Tips

Studying for the Colorado Bar will be quite an undertaking. You will need to devote several months to studying procedures, laws, and information that you learned during your three years of law school. To help direct your studying it is highly recommended that you enroll in a Bar Exam Review course. Law schools and self-study institutes provide these courses. For a list of quality Bar Exam Review course please check out the Colorado Bar Association’s website at:

In addition to enrolling in a Bar Exam Review course, you should also learn what will be on the examination and where you can go for study guides.

For the essay and MPT portions of the Colorado Bar Exam you should review the following topics.

1. Business Associations
2. Civil Procedures
3. Commercial Transactions
4. Contracts
5. Criminal Law and Procedures
6. Evidence
7. Family Law
8. Public Law (Constitutional and Administrative Law)
9. Real Property
10. Torts
11. Wills, Estates, and Trusts

What to Know About the Multistate Performance Test Questions

The Multistate Performance Test questions will be designed to test your ability to do “lawyer work.” They will test your proficiency in the following areas:

1. Problem Solving
2. Factual Analysis
3. Legal Analysis
4. Reasoning
5. Written Communication
6. Organization Skills
7. Project Management of Legal Tasks
8. Ability to recognize and respond to ethical dilemmas

What to Know About the Multistate Bar Exam

The Multistate Bar Exam is designed to test your general legal knowledge, and will cover the following topics:

1. Contracts
2. Criminal Law
3. Evidence
4. Real Property
5. Torts
6. Constitutional Law

Study Resources

To help you study, the following websites provide official rules of legal procedures for the state of Colorado and for federal procedures.

For past Colorado Bar Exam questions, application forms and general information go to:

For Colorado Rules of Civil Procedures go to:

For Federal Rules of Civil Procedures go to:

For Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct go to:

For ABA Rules of Professional Conduct go to:

For Colorado Rules of Evidence go to:

For Federal Rules of Evidence go to:

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