Follow the step by step process or choose what situation that best describes you:
The Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions does not call for undergraduate education. The Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions stresses the importance of graduating from a law school approved by the American Bar Association. You must obtain at least a bachelor’s degree before entering any ABA-approved law school.
National or regional accreditation by an agency listed with the U.S. Department of Education is mandatory before you will be accepted into any ABA-approved law school.
Requirements and Standards
Pre-law undergraduate education does not have any rules or limits imposed upon it by the ABA. You should take coursework that challenges and interests you. Recommended fields to take courses in include economics, philosophy, political science, English, communications, psychology, and sociology.
Pre-Law Degree Options
The ABA does not require a specific major for your undergraduate degree. Some majors may be more helpful to your future success as a lawyer than others may be. Undergraduate majors taken from the above-listed disciplines have shown to help students the most in law school and beyond.
All ABA-accredited law institutions mandate that you pass the LSAT, or Law School Admission Test prior to enrollment. It is a six-hour-long standardized test offered four times annually at examination centers all over the world.
How to prepare
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) offers free study materials on the LSAT website that will help you get ready to take the LSAT. If you wish to take formal, paid LSAT preparation courses, the following options are open to you in the Kentucky area:
LSAT Exam Prep Courses in Kentucky:
The content of the LSAT includes:
LSAT applications are accepted online at the LSAC website, where you must create an account and pay the testing fee of $160. You may take the LSAT in June, October, December or February (over a two-day period each month). Centers throughout Kentucky that administer the LSAT include:
Receiving Your LSAT Score
Approximately 21 days after taking the LSAT, you will receive your score via postal mail. The lowest score possible is 120, and the highest score possible is 180. The University of Louisville usually accepts students with LSAT scores between 152 and 158. Northern Kentucky University’s students have median LSAT in the 151 to 156 range.
Law School Application process in Kentuckly
Kudos to you for passing the LSAT! Now you are ready to begin applying to ABA-accredited law institutions. The Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions prefers that you graduate from an ABA-accredited law institution in the United States – it need not be in Kentucky. There are more than 200 ABA-accredited law schools nationwide, listed in the ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools. Each law school has its own requirements for admissions. Check out this list of services required by some ABA-approved law schools before you apply. (Information for graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools and foreign law schools is provided at the end of this section).
Credential Assembly Service
The LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS) is a handy and necessary tool when applying to any ABA-approved law school. This service helps you to gather all transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions you have attended thus far, as well as gathering recommendation letters and online evaluations of your character and work. The CAS also takes care of applying to the ABA-approved law schools of your choice. The LSAC charges $155 for usage of the CAS.
ABA-Accredited Law Schools in Kentucky
Three law schools in Kentucky are ABA-accredited:
You will take coursework in (but not limited to) the following areas:
It must take you at least two years, but no longer than seven years, to earn your Juris Doctor (JD) degree, per ABA rules. This averages to about 83 semester hours in total.
Online Law Degrees
You will likely be placed into an internship of some sort during your time at law school. This may involve working in a school-based legal clinic serving indigent clients, working in a governmental agency or office, or working with real lawyers in tandem performing legal research. Your performance on your internship will be assessed by supervisors in the field as well as by law school faculty members.
J.D Degree Programs
The Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions insists that you have a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree before taking the state’s bar exam. It is preferred that this degree comes from an ABA-accredited law institution, but rules for graduates of non-ABA-accredited law schools and foreign law schools are listed below.
Non-ABA- Approved Law School Graduates
If you graduated from a non-ABA-accredited law school, you may still be eligible to take the Kentucky bar exam. You must meet all of the following prerequisites:
Graduates of Foreign Law Schools
Did you graduate from a law school located in another country? You may still be eligible to take Kentucky’s bar exam if you meet these prerequisites:
The University of Kentucky College of Law offers checklists with milestones that you should complete at the end of each year of law school:
You must have completed all requirements for your JD degree prior to sitting for the Kentucky bar exam. You must also meet the state’s Essential Eligibility Requirements to practice law, and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) with a scaled score of 75 or more before taking the Kentucky bar exam. Apply to take the MPRE here.
Exam review material is provided by the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions at its website. Included are past Kentucky essay questions, information on studying for the national portions of the exam (the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) and the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)). Bar preparation courses that you may take in Kentucky include:
You will take the Kentucky Bar Exam over two days. The first day is devoted to essay questions, with six state essay questions in the morning and six MEE essay questions in the afternoon. Subjects that may be included on this part are:
The second day is devoted to the MBE, consisting of 200 multiple-choice questions. Subjects may include:
If you have already taken the MBE in another jurisdiction within the past three years, and obtained a scaled score of 132 or higher, you may arrange for these scores to be transferred to Kentucky.
You must apply for admission to the Kentucky Bar online, creating a new online account when you do so. Once you begin your application, you may save it and come back to it any time to complete it. You will be given instructions if you must print out any forms to have notarized and mail in to the Office. You will also be told of any supporting documentation you must send in. After your application is complete, submit the application online by clicking the appropriate button. You must mail your application fee payable to the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions via certified check, cashier’s check, money order, law firm check or corporate check. (No credit cards or cash will be accepted). This fee must accompany the supporting notarized documents you mail to the Office. Mail to Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions, 1510 Newtown Pike, Suite 156, Lexington, KY 40511-1255. Along with your fee and other documents you must mail:
After submitting an application, you will receive a confirmation email from the Office immediately. The status of your application (and approval to take the bar exam) will be listed on the “My Dashboard” page of your online account.
Bar Pass Rates
The Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions has posted the following passing statistics for past bar exams:
Admission Without Examination
If you meet the following requirements you may qualify for admission to the Kentucky bar without examination:
Licensing and Admission to the Bar
It will take approximately nine weeks to obtain your bar exam scores by email. They will also be posted on the Office of Bar Admissions’ website. The Office will notify you of the date and location of your bar admission ceremony.
Now that you have been admitted to the Kentucky bar, you must decide where you wish to work. Do you want to open your own solo law practice? Would you rather join an established law firm? Perhaps you would like to work for a for-profit or non-profit corporation. All of these avenues are available to bar members in Kentucky.
The Young Lawyers Division of the Kentucky Bar Association can help you in deciding which direction you wish your career to take. If you are a Kentucky lawyer who is 40 years of age or younger or have practiced law for 10 years or less (regardless of your age), you may join the Young Lawyers Division.
Established law firms throughout Kentucky are often hiring new talent. Some of the most famous firms include multipractice firm McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland in Lexington; multidisciplinary law firm Frost, Brown, Todd in Louisville; corporate law and civil defense litigators Boehl, Stopher & Graves in Paducah; civil, criminal and family lawyers Claycomb & Kidd in Richmond; and multipractice firm Blau & Kriege in Cold Spring.
Fortune 500 corporations in Kentucky that may be in need of legal help include health insurer Humana in Louisville; chemical company Ashland in Covington; electronics giant General Cable in Highland Heights; food services corporation Yum Brands in Louisville; and pharmaceutical company Omnicare in Covington.
Nonprofit organizations throughout Kentucky that may hire lawyers include the Centre for Nonprofit Excellence in Louisville; Center for Women and Families in Louisville; Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Foundation in Frankfort; Step by Step, Inc. in Lexington; and the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville.
Legal specialty certification
Various organizations exist throughout the country offering legal specialty certification to lawyers who wish to practice in a certain area. They include:
Requirements for maintaining license
In order to maintain your law license in Kentucky, you must complete 12.5 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) annually. This must include at least two hours of ethics coursework. Contact the Kentucky Bar Association for further information.
Court Systems in Kentucky
The Kentucky Court of Justice consists of four levels of courts. They are, from highest to lowest:
Elective membership organizations
Think about becoming a member of any of these organizations for lawyers in Kentucky that is applicable to your situation:
Lawyer Career Specialties
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