The good news is that if you graduated from a Wisconsin law school, you need not take a bar exam to become a lawyer there. It’s the only state in the country that has such a law, so long as the law school is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). The first step toward becoming a lawyer in Wisconsin though is to have an undergraduate degree from a four-year college or university to the be considered for law school admission.
The Type of Bachelor’s Degree
That degree must be accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. There aren’t any requirements for the type of degree you must have. The ABA recommends classes that are challenging. Those might be literature, political science, world civilization, sociology or psychology. They might also be in agriculture, international relations, design or sports management. That’s because there is no such thing as a pre-law degree. The ABA doesn’t really care what your degree is in, so long as it’s a challenge. If its challenging, your grade point average is likely to be higher. We all know what admission committees think of high grade point averages
Taking the LSAT
The LSAT stands for Law School Admission Test. Its about a three -hour exam that doesn’t have anything to do with law school, but it’s a good indicator of the analytical and rational judgment that you must use in becoming an attorney. Since it isn’t like anything you’ve ever seen before, it’s a good idea to take a prep class for this test. Your scores could jump up dramatically. All ABA accredited law schools require you to take this test. It consists of five parts that follow:
- Logical Reasoning: This section is 35 minutes long with a 25 question average. You may be asked about the main idea of a paragraph, an assumption made by it, or even find an answer that weakens the paragraph.
- Analytical Reasoning: These consist of one section with four games. Each of those gams is followed by seven questions. There is a set of rules, and questions will be asked of you what is or isn’t true based on those rules.
- Reading Comprehension: These are longer passages of up to six hundred words. You’ll identify the primary point of the passage. Then, you’ll make inferences based on those points.
- Mystery Section: This consists of questions that the people who write the exam are testing. As there is no way of knowing which is the mystery section, you must try hard on every section.
- Writing Sample: You’ll be given a selected topic to write on. This section isn’t grades either, but it does go to ever law school you apply to. You’ll need to try hard on this too.
The Application Process and Scoring
Your application for the LSAT must be taken online by the Law School Admission Council. Tests are given in November, January, March. June and July across the state. Just send your credit card or debit card information in for $215, and tell them when and where you want to take the test. A low on the test is 120, and a high on the test is 180. There are two accredited law schools in Wisconsin that fall into the bar exam exclusion rule Those are Marquette University with an average LSAT score of 157 and the University of Wisconsin Madison College of Law at 162. You’ll receive your score about three weeks after the exam. Remember that you can always go to law school outside of Wisconsin, but then, you’ll have to sit for a bar exam if you’re going to practice law in the state.
The Credential Assembly Service
The next step in getting to law school is to let the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) perform valuable work on behalf of the ABA. Its services are mandatory. The CAS puts together all of your transcripts, letters of recommendation, evaluations, writing samples and LSATs, and packages them into a meaningful and valuable resource for admission committees. All data concerning a law school candidate is put together electronically and safely. The cost of the CAS if $215 plus $45 per school that the person is applying to.
Taking the Wisconsin Bar Exam
If you graduated from an ABA law school what wasn’t in Wisconsin, you must receive your Juris Doctor degree within 60 days of taking the bar exam. Another prep class is warranted, but this time, it will be for the bar exam. You’ll have about six weeks to prepare for it, so use your time wisely. Ask your classmates which course they’re taking and that that class too. Live law and breathe it with every breath you take for six weeks. Wisconsin administers the Uniform Bar Exam, but they don’t call it that. It takes two days to complete. On the fist day, you’re given eight Wisconsin essay questions. These might be on any number of subjects including evidence, civil procedure, contracts, property, torts, trusts and estates and criminal law and procedure or a jurisdictional component as well. The second day is the MBE with 200 multiple choice questions. There will be 100 in the morning and another 100 in the afternoon. In 2019, 68.1% passed. In July of 2021, there was a 73% pass rate.
Now that you’ve passed the bar exam, there’s one more step. Pay particular attention to the bar’s requirements for admission and pay the proper fees. Then, It’s congratulations! You’re an attorney now. You’re licensed to practice throughout the state courts of Wisconsin. May your career be fruitful.