Follow the step by step process or choose what situation that best describes you:
Mississippi was home to the United States’ first bar association for lawyers, organized in Natchez in 1821, according to the Mississippi Bar Association. After years of ups and downs, the state bar association was unified in 1832. Today, there are over 7000 members of the Mississippi bar. The Bar has adopted mandatory Continuing Legal Education for lawyers in the state, has established the Interest on Lawyers Trust Account program; has constructed the Mississippi Bar Center and has piloted many other programs benefiting not only Mississippi lawyers but also Mississippi residents. If you would like to become a member of the Mississippi bar, keep reading for instructions on how to do so.
The Mississippi Board of Bar Admissions says that you must have either a bachelor’s degree or have completed three years of a six-year pre-law/law integrated curriculum to fulfill the state’s undergraduate education requirements for lawyers.
The undergraduate college or university that you attend must be accredited by a national or regional agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This will ensure acceptance of your undergraduate education by the Board as well as by ABA-accredited law schools to which you later apply for enrollment.
Requirements and Standards
Your undergraduate major should be a subject in which you are interested and which challenges you. There are no right or wrong majors or courses to take in undergraduate school as a pre-law student. A thorough, broad knowledge of humanities will help to prepare you for the rigorous curriculum you will encounter in law school.
You must either receive a bachelor’s degree or you must have completed three years of a six-year integrated pre-law/law curriculum, under Board rules. Your major need not be in any particular area, although majors taken from humanities, history, government, political science and economics are popular choices for pre-law students.
Rasmussen College offers online Paralegal Associate's Degree and Post-Degree Certificate programs designed to give you the skills you need to provide expert legal support services, while preparing you for the CLA/CP Exam.
Next, you must pass the LSAT, or Law School Admission Test. This standardized admission test lasts six hours and is offered quarterly around the country.
How to prepare
Free study materials for students may be found at the LSAT website. If you wish to take a LSAT preparation course, options in Mississippi include:
LSAT Exam Prep Courses in Mississippi:
LSAT Exam content
You will be tested in the following areas on the LSAT:
Apply online to take the LSAT, and pay the $160 exam fee. The LSAT is offered four times per year at the following locations in Mississippi:
Receiving Your Score
The lowest LSAT score you can possibly obtain is 120, and the highest, 180. You should expect to receive yours by mail approximately 21 days after taking the LSAT. Average LSAT scores of admittees to Mississippi law schools are as follows:
Law School Application Process
Once you have completed your undergraduate education and passed the LSAT, you are ready to apply to law schools. Under Mississippi’s bar admission rules, you must graduate from an American Bar Association-accredited law school. You may attend any of the 200 such accredited law schools across the country, listed in the ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools.
Credential Assembly Service
In order to apply for admission to an ABA-accredited law school, you must use the Law School Admission Council’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS). You will gather transcripts from any institution you have attended classes for credit and send them to the CAS. You will also provide the LSAC with names of persons who will write your letters of recommendation, and who will write online evaluations of your work. The fee to use the CAS is $155, and covers the electronic applications made to the ABA-accredited law schools you choose.
All who intend to sit for the Mississippi bar exam must have a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school (or be no more than 60 days away from completing requirements for such a degree at the time you take the exam).
ABA-Accredited Law Schools in Mississippi
Two law schools in Mississippi hold ABA accreditation. They are:
As a law school student in Mississippi, courses you will take in the average curriculum include:
Online Law Degrees
Most Mississippi law schools will require that you fulfill an internship while a law school student. This may involve working in an on-site legal setting or working in a school legal aid clinic assisting the indigent. Whatever your situation, your job performance will be graded by a supervisor as well as by a member of your law school faculty.
You must register with the Mississippi Board of Bar Admissions by October 1 of your second year of law school and pay a fee of $125. The Dean of your law school must attach a certification of your progress towards your J.D. degree along with your grades. In addition to the Law Student Registration Application, you must file the following:
J.D. Degree Programs
You must receive a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school (or complete the majority of the requirements for one – see above) in order to sit for the Mississippi bar exam. There may be opportunities to receive dual degrees or certificates in other areas in addition to your J.D. degree. Check with your law school for details.
After you are at least 21 years old, have registered as a law student in Mississippi and completed the majority of requirements for or received your J.D. degree, you are ready to take the state’s bar exam.
Graduates of Foreign Law Schools
Graduates of law schools located outside of the United States are not eligible to take Mississippi’s bar exam.
The Mississippi Board of Bar Admissions posts past essay questions and answer explanations on its website. Reviewing these may be of great assistance to you as you prepare to take the state’s bar exam. The National Conference of Bar Examiners website provides free study aids for the MEE (Multistate Essay Exam) and MPT (Multistate Performance Test).
Other resources to help you prepare to take the Mississippi Bar Exam include:
Mississippi’s bar exam is a three-day event. The first day you will have six Mississippi essay questions, with an hour to spend on each one.
The second day of the Mississippi bar exam consists of two 90-minute Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions in the morning and six Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) questions in the afternoon.
Questions for the MEE and the Mississippi essay exam could be on any of the following topics: administrative law, Constitutional law, agency, contracts and sales, bankruptcy, torts, criminal law and procedure, real property, commercial paper, conflict of laws, corporations, domestic relations,
Federal civil procedure, Federal income tax, Federal jurisdiction & Rules of Civil Procedure, Mississippi Constitutional law, partnerships, practice and procedure of Mississippi court system, professional ethics and conduct, secured transactions, Uniform Commercial Code, wills, estates, trusts, and workers’ compensation.
The MPT involves performing tasks that lawyers do on a daily basis. To prepare, practice your skills in things such as legal analysis and reasoning, problem solving, communication, analysis of facts, management and organization of legal tasks, recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas, drafting client letters, drafting memos, writing a legal brief, and composing closing arguments.
Day 3 is devoted to the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), 200 multiple-choice questions on: Constitutional law, contracts/sales, criminal law and procedure, evidence, real property, and
Applications for the upcoming bar exam will be posted online at the Board website. Keep a copy of your application and all supporting documents you are mailing to the Board. Make sure to file your application before the deadline (Feb 1 for the July exam, and Sept 1 for the February exam). Along with your completed application, you must send:
MBE Transfer Scores
If you took the MBE in another jurisdiction within 20 months of taking the Mississippi bar exam, you may transfer the actual scaled score you received to Mississippi.
Adaptibar.com has reported the following results for Mississippi bar exams for the listed dates:
Admission on Motion
If you are already a member of the bar in another jurisdiction, you may be eligible for Admission on Motion to the Mississippi bar. You must meet the following requirements:
As of 2012, the only jurisdictions not reciprocal with Mississippi are California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. Visit this link for more information on Admission on Motion.
Licensing and Admission to the Bar
You will receive your bar exam results by mail about eight weeks post-exam. Your bar admission will be held in Jackson at a specified date and time. At your swearing-in ceremony for admission to the bar, you must pay the following fees in order to be admitted to the following courts:
You have reached the final milestone in your quest to become a Mississippi lawyer and are now a full-fledged bar member in the state! The Mississippi Bar Association can help you as you plan your career course. As a new lawyer, or if you are a lawyer in the state under age 37, you are automatically a member of the association’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD). Local affiliates of the YLD may be able to help you and include:
Mississippi has many law firms throughout the state in various areas of practice. Some of the most well known include:
If you prefer to work for a company, legal positions are often available across the state. Larger companies in Mississippi include Hollywood Casino Resorts in Tunica, Nissan in Canton, Siemens Energy in Richland, Zeiders Enterprises in Jackson, and LexisNexis in Jackson.
Legal specialty certification
If you want to practice in a specialized legal area, you might consider certification. The National Board of Legal Specialty Certification offers certification services for specializations including civil trial law advocacy, social security disability advocacy, family law, civil law, and criminal law. You must take an exam and file an application in order to receive certification, and fulfill continuing education activities to keep your certification valid. For more information, contact Mississippi’s NBLSC coordinator, Briggs Smith, at 662-563-4613 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requirements for maintaining license
To maintain your legal license and bar admission status in Mississippi, you must complete at least 12 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) per year. For more information, contact the State of Mississippi Commission on Continuing Legal Education.
Court Systems in Mississippi
Mississippi’s Courts are divided as structured below:
Elective membership organizations
Here are a few membership organizations for professional lawyers in Mississippi in which membership might benefit your career:
Lawyer Career Specialties
|CA Active Lawyers||7000+|
|Average Annual Wage||$86,580|