Mississippi was the home of the first bar association for lawyers in 1821. Today, there are more than 8,000 members of the bar of the Stake of Mississippi. Mandatory continuing legal education plays a big role in the start bar. The state’s bar has also built the Mississippi Bar Center for the use of all members. In turn, the Mississippi Bar Center has founded many programs that benefit not only the members of the bar, but the members of the community too. If you’d like to become a member of this venerable community, keep reading.
Get a Four-Year Degree
The requirements to be eligible to seek admission into law school in Mississippi are really quite simple. It take a four-year degree from a college or university anywhere in the country. That college or university must be accredited by the U.S. Department of Education though. That shouldn’t be a problem. There are at least 1,000 of such schools.
Your Undergraduate Major
Your undergraduate degree program can be in any degree program that you can think if. What really matters is that it should be interesting and challenging. As there is no pre-law major, classes in English, communications, government, political science or economics are fine choices. What admissions committees want to see though is your taking of classes that you really enjoy. If you enjoy a subject, you’re more likely to do better in it. If you do better in it, the more likely you will be to get into law school. It’s also more likely to get you ready for the strenuous course load that you’ll encounter in law school.
The LSAT in Mississippi
After you’ve graduated from an accredited four-year college or university, you’ll need to take the Law School Admission Test. The test lasts for six hours, and it’s administered across the country. Before you take the LSAT though, it’s strongly recommended that you take a preparation class for it. It’s honestly not wise not to take a class. They’re offered commercially by companies that have been doing this for years. Take the course. It teaches you how to approach the exam, and you’ll find your scores to be higher. That could be the difference in getting into law school. The LSAT will consist of the following:
- Reading Comprehension: You’re provided with four complex passages for reading. Then, you have about 8.5 minutes to answer the questions about each passage.
- Analytical Reasoning: Known as “logic games,” the word combinations in this section call on you to draw inferences, make rule combinations, locate linking patterns and understand restrictions to make the best possible answer.
- Logical Reasoning: You’re given 24 to 26 questions and 35 minutes to make the soundest correct answer.
- Recurring Theme: One of the above questions will be restated in entirely different forms. You won’t know which one it is, but you’ll need to perform well on it to keep your score up there.
- Writing Sample: You’ll be given an essay to write, and it won’t be graded. It will go to every law school that you apply to though. You’ll want to be concise and articulate.
You can apply to take the LSAT by applying to the Law School Admission Council. The cost is $195. For purposes of convenience, registration and payment can be done online. The test is given throughout Mississippi. The lowest possible score is 120, and the highest possible score is 180. You’ll get your score about 21 days after the exam. There are two ABA law schools in Mississippi. Those are the University of Mississippi and Mississippi College. The University of Mississippi scored an average of 158, and Mississippi College scored and average of 153.
To be able to apply for admission to either of the accredited law schools in Mississippi, you must use the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). The cost is $195 plus $45 per law school that you apply to. The CAS actually streamlines the application process. The CAS gathers your transcripts, letters of recommendation and the like and put it into a meaningful package that admission committees need to see in order to make the best decisions of candidates. Even your LSAT scores are sent by CAS.
It appears as if every Mississippi law school will require you to perform an externship. Whatever your situation might be, you’ll be graded on this endeavor by a faculty member. Their performance will then be graded by a faculty member.
There are two fees involved here. First is a fee of $125 payable to the Mississippi Board of Bar Admission. That’s due by October 1, of your second year. The Dean of your law school will attach his or her certification of progress toward your Juris Doctor along with your grades and send it to the Board of Admission. The second fee that’s due is $150 to the Law Student Registration. Take notice of all of the requirement of this. Each must be fulfilled.
Passing the Mississippi Bar Exam
The Mississippi bar exam lasts for two days. On the first day, you’ll take an essay exam, and you’ll have an hour to answer all questions. Essay questions will vary on each exam. During the second half of the day, you’ll take the Multistate Performance Test. That consists of two 90-minute questions along with Multistate Essay questions. On the second day, you’ll be asked 200 multiple choice questions, with 100 in the morning and another 100 in the afternoon. Note that Mississippi requires a passing Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam too, with a passing scale of 75. Its given three times per year. You’re encouraged to take this test before the actual bar exam.
Like the LSAT, you’ll want to approach the Mississippi bar exam responsibly. A preparation class is also a must for this exam. Talk to your classmates and see which commercial course that they’re taking. You’ll find that many of them will be taking the same class. There’s a reason for that, so you take it too. Spend every waking moment on this class. You won’t regret it.
You’ll receive your bar exam results in the mail about six weeks after the exam. Swearing in ceremonies will be held in Jackson on a prearranged date and time. There is a $100 swearing in fee. After swearing in, you can practice in any Mississippi trial or appellate court. Congratulations! You’re a lawyer now.