Law School Classes that Will Prepare You For the Bar Exam: What to Take and What Not to Take!
If you are signing up for your 2L or 3L classes, you may be wondering what law school classes will prepare you for the bar exam. It is wise to take classes that will prepare you for the bar exam as it maximizes your chances of passing the bar exam the first time you take it.
Our advice is as follows: first, try to take any law school class that will prepare you for the MBE, that is, the Multistate Bar Exam, or multiple-choice portion of the bar exam. Many of these are related to your 1L classes. (Consequently, studying for the MBE will also likely help you on the essay portion of the bar exam, since many times the subjects are double-tested on the MBE and the essay portion.)
Seven Essential Law School Classes
That Will Prepare You for the Bar Exam
The seven subjects tested on the MBE are Civil Procedure, Contracts & Sales, Criminal Law & Procedure, Torts, Evidence, Real Property, and Constitutional Law. Thus, to prepare for these seven subjects, take the seven classes listed below. Again, since these are “double-tested” on the MBE and many state essay exams, these are the most essential subjects to be familiar with.
- Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure
- Contracts and Sales (and any “Advanced” Contracts and Sales classes your school may offer)
- Constitutional Law (if your schools offers Constitutional Law 1 and 2, take both!)
- Real Property (and any related classes – such as Real Estate Law, mortgages, etc.)
- Civil Procedure
Five Additional Law School Classes
That Will Prepare You for the Bar Exam:
Most states, including Uniform Bar Exam states also test the following subjects on the essay portion of their bar exam. These are not as “important” as the MBE subjects, above, because they are not double-tested (that is, there is no chance they will be tested on both portions of the bar exam). However, they are still very important as they are frequently tested in many state’s bar exam essays.
- Wills and Trusts
- Corporations, Agency, and Partnership (thus any “Business Organizations” class would be a good idea)
- Secured Transactions
- Family Law
- Conflict of Laws
If you are in a UBE (Uniform Bar Exam) jurisdiction that administers the Multistate Essay Exam, then you will see all of the above subjects tested on the essay portion of the exam. Of those subjects, Conflict of Laws is probably the least important of the five subjects above as it is not heavily-tested in many states. If you are in a multistate essay jurisdiction (or UBE jurisdiction) Conflict of Laws is never tested as a standalone subject and is combined with other subjects, when it is tested (which is not frequently!).
Keep in mind that if you are taking the Uniform Bar Exam in 2026, the NCBE has provided that Conflict of Laws, Family Law, Trusts and Estates, and Secured Transactions will not appear on the Multistate Essay Exam.
Additionally, your jurisdiction might adopt the NextGen Bar Exam for 2026. Check out our blog post on the Next Gen Bar Exam for more information!
Law School Classes that will Likely
Not Prepare you for the Bar Exam
Fewer states are testing Commercial Paper/Negotiable Instruments (if you are in a UBE or Multistate Essay jurisdiction, it will not be tested at all in the future!). Some states, like Florida, recently added Commercial Paper/Negotiable Instruments to their list of subjects that could be tested.
Also, many students have it in their heads that classes about taxes, bankruptcy, or immigration will prepare them for the bar exam. These are not tested on most state bar exams (although check your own state’s website to see what your state does!)
If you have any questions or comments about specific classes that will prepare you for the bar exam in your specific state, feel free to post them below or contact us here. We have access to the bar exam materials of many states and are happy to help you create the best class schedule possible! Good luck registering for classes!
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