For baseball, it’s the Twins, For basketball, it’s the Timberwolves. For hockey it’s the Wild and for football, it’s the Vikings. It’s also the same state that give us Jesse “The Body” Ventura as governor and Al Franken as a senator. Minnesota certainly has its own mind, but who doesn’t? If you want to become a lawyer in Minnesota, you’ll need to study long and hard though, but it’s worth it every step of the way. Here’s what you need to do.
Your Pre-Law Major
The Minnesota State Board of Bar Examiners doesn’t require a pre-law major. However, in keeping with the other states, the American Bar Association (ABA) requires it, so the minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required if you’re going to attend an ABA accredited law school. So long as your college or university is on the U.S. Department of Education’s list of accredited school, you should be fine. You’re not required to take specific courses though. Your advisor might be able to help you out with that. Courses in criminal justice, speech, government, political science and philosophy will be of great help. You can major in just about anything though from aeronautical engineering to Japanese studies. So long as you enjoy your studies, that’s what law school admission committees want. There’s a definite connection between enjoying your studies and your grade point average. Of course, the admission committee is going to look for a strong grade point average.
Immediately before or after graduation from your undergraduate program is when you start preparing for the Law School Admission Test. You’ll best get ready for it by taking a preparation class for this test. That class might be the difference between attending law school and having a successful career and becoming a teacher instead. Many people will become teachers after taking the LSAT too, because they didn’t really care about the LSAT outcome. There are commercial classes out there that prepare you for taking the exam. Take one of them, and you’ll be better on the exam than you ever thought you would.
You’re required to apply for the LSAT online at a cost of $215. Payment can be made online too. The test is six hours long, three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. It’s given three time per year on Mondays and Saturdays in November, January and March. The test is given at eight locations throughout the state. It includes questions on the following study areas:
- Reading Comprehension: You’ll be asked to read complicated passages and answer questions about them based on your comprehension, your ability to make inferences conclusions.
- Analytical Reasoning: Drawing relationships and conclusions is the key to this part of the test. Logical Reasoning: Your ability to see strengths and weaknesses is tested here.
- Mystery Questions: You’ll be asked one of the above questions, but you won’t be told which one. This may or may not be graded, so it’s best to try your hardest at this.
- Writing Sample: This section isn’t scored either, but it is sent to the law schools that you apply to. You’ll want to do your best on this.
Law Schools in Minnesota
For purposes of scoring, a low is 120 and a high is 180. There are more than 200 law schools in the United States that are accredited. If you’ve gone this far, you’ll likely get in somewhere. There are three law schools in Minnesota. All of them are ABA accredited. Those law schools and their current LSAT scores follow:
- University of Minnesota Twin Cities 164
- Mitchell Hamline University 152
- University of St. Thomas 154
The Credential Assembly Service
You’ll be required to use the Credential Assembly Service for applying to any ABA accredited law school. This valuable service will obtain copies of all transcripts, letters of recommendation and LSAT scores and send them to the law schools that you apply to. A be member will be doing your character and fitness review, and the CAS will also be putting you in touch with that person. The cost for this is $195, and it can be paid online.
The Application Process for the Bar Exam
There’s an application portal at the Minnesota State Board of Bar Examiners. Print out an application and type it. Mail it with all requested forms and your cashier’s check in the amount of $600. If you wish to use your own laptop, an additional $150 is due.
The Minnesota State Bar Examination
Before you take the bar exam, you should again take another preparation class that will get you ready for the bar examination. Just ask around during your third year of law school, and you’ll hear the name of the preparation class over and over again. It costs money, but it’s well worth it. Take it and you won’t regret it. The Minnesota State Bar Exam is given over two days. It’s rigorous. The morning of the first day, you’ll be given the Multistate Performance Test which consists of two questions. This tests your lawyering skills. You’re provided with a file and a library, and you’ll need to perform a lawyer’s task like writing a brief. In the afternoon section, you’ll be given six essay questions. Each of them lasts 30 minutes. On the second day of the exam, you’ll be given the Multistate Bar Exam. This consists of 100 multiple choice questions in the morning, and another 100 in the afternoon. That’s not all though. Before you’re admitted in Minnesota, you must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam. You must pass this with a score of 85. Minnesota’s overall pass rate regardless of the number of times that the test was taken was 94%.
Congratulations. You’re now a lawyer. You’ll be mailed instructions on swearing it. Your admitted to practice anywhere in the state courts of Minnesota.