Steps in Becoming a Lawyer in North Dakota

North Dakota is primarily run on agriculture, emergency and corporations. That’s right, corporations. The state is a haven for just about any type of business entity that you can think of. The only other state that’s as big on corporations is Delaware.   There are about 3,000 lawyers in North Dakota. They have an income of about $100,000 per year though, with the state being high on the growth charts. If you’ve been thinking about becoming a lawyer in North Dakota, here at the steps that you’ll have to take.

Get That Bachelor’s Degree First.

As per the American Bar Association (ABA), the North Dakota State Board of Law Examiners mandates that anybody who sits for the law exam there have a Juris Doctor’s degree. An ABA accredited law school is going to require that your undergraduate degree be finished at an institution that is accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. Any major will do, but it might be best for you to take classes in political science, philosophy, English literature, sociology, psychology, oral and written communications or business. What’s really important to admission committees though is that you take a major course of study that you enjoy. If you enjoy it, you’re far more likely to do well in it. If you do well in it, your grade point average will be higher, and you’ll stand a better chance at being admitted to an ABA accredited law school.


You’ll likely take your Law School Admission Test after you graduate from undergraduate school. It’s a 3.5-hour test that’s given across the country three times a year. It doesn’t have much to do with the practice of law, but it does measure proven abilities to be a quality law student. If there’s a preparation class for it, take it. You’re competing on a national level, and it could be the one of the most important tests you’ll ever take. The LSAT is composed of 35-minute sessions, of which there are five. You’ll be tested on analytical reasoning, rationale reason, reading comprehension, a mystery unit and an essay portion. Scores on the LSAT range from 120 to 180. You can expect to get them in less than a month. The University of North Dakota is the only ABA accredited law school in the state. In 2019, the average score was 148.

The Credential Assembly Service

Any ABA accredited law school in the United States will insist on the Credential Assembly Service for purposes of obtaining and sending transcripts and the like to the law schools that you apply to. Such materials also include writing samples and LSAT scores. Remember that essay portion of the exam? That will be going to every law school that you apply to. The cost of the LSAT is $215 plus $45 per school that you apply to. Remember that there are more than 200 other law schools scattered across the various states. Don’t spread your efforts too thin. If the University of North Dakota doesn’t take you, somebody else will, and you can still apply to sit for the North Dakota bar exam.

The Law School Curriculum

Just about every law student studies law for at least three years. The classes that you take will be innumerable, especially during the first year. You’re looking at contracts, torts, legal research and writing, real property and lawyering skills. The next two years will open up a bit more, and you’ll be able to take some elective classes. You’ll also be required to take an internship class. You’ll be doing hands-on legal work, and you’ll be graded on it too. You’ll also be required to register to take the bar exam by October 1, of you second year. You can get your law school documents at Law Student Registration. It’s found on the North Dakota Courts page that’s presented earlier.

Taking the North Dakota Bar

Once you have your Juris Doctorate, you’re ready for the North Dakota bar exam. You’re cautioned though to take yet another preparation exam. Your scores will be significantly higher, and even a single point can put you over the hump. The North Dakota bar exam consists of the Uniform Bar Exam. It’s given in February and July. It’s a two-day exam. On the first day, The Multistate Essay Exam is given, you’ll receive two essay questions in the morning. and at least two other Multistate Performance tests in the afternoon. On the second day of the exam, you’ll have the Multistate Bar Examination to contend with. That’s 100 multiple choice questions in the morning, and another 100 in the afternoon. Don’t forget about the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam either. You must pass it, but fortunately, any scores over the last five years will be taken. A score of 85 or higher is passing. The bar exam application will be pasted at the offices of the North Dakota State Board of Law Examiners. Give particular attention to every detail on the application.

Test takers scored a commendable 87% in the spring of 2022. In 2017, the pass rate was only 57%. It doesn’t matter though what somebody calls you if you’ve passed. Congratulations! You’re a lawyer now, and you’re licensed to practice anywhere in the North Dakota State Courts. We hope to be hearing that good news about seven weeks after the bar exam. You’ll be notified of the date, time and location of the appropriate swearing in ceremony.