The LPI exam, or Law Profession Institute Examination, is most likely the first exam that you will take if you are thinking about legal professions. It is likely that you will take at least one other LPI exam if you want to be taken seriously within your field of choice: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends that you take at least two legal classes and take the LPI exam no more than five years after passing your first class. Most law school deans will offer advice about which LPI exams you should take, but you should take a look first at what these tests are really all about, so that you know what to expect. Most LPI examinations are fairly simple affairs.
The LPI exam is a multiple-choice examination that tests your ability to analyze the various decisions and circumstances that arise in the course of everyday life. You will be asked to answer a series of questions and interpret their meaning, drawing on “legal theories” that are determined by the “popular culture” as described by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As you become familiar with the concepts and decide which ones you think are the most important, you will be allowed to take practice tests through the BLS website. Once you have completed these practice tests and you feel ready to take the real test, then you will be mailed a paper to complete and return to the law student center.
There are four different types of law exam that can be taken by law students who wish to become licensed lawyers in the United States. The most popular exam, the LSAT, is given by Allston Woods Professional School and is administered twice a year, once during the summer months and once during the fall months. Law school graduates can take the LSAT in a one-day class at any number of local law schools, or they may elect to take the LSAT online. Students who have taken and passed the LSAT will have enough background knowledge to be properly prepared when they take their second, third, and fourth legal exams.
The second popular culture exam is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Lawyer’s exam. This exam measures an aspiring lawyer’s knowledge of and competency in basic accounting principles and practices, as well as understanding the legal ethics of using statistics in decision making. Those who successfully pass this exam will earn their first law degree. This degree must be from an accredited university or institution and has a professional degree designation.
The third popular culture exam is the National Association for Legal Assistants (NALA) exam structure. This type of legal exam measures an aspiring attorney’s knowledge of the NALA functions and ethical guidelines as well as the knowledge of all attorneys. The first two levels of NALA exams cover ethical conduct and compliance issues, while the third level focuses on the areas of trial practice and client litigation. Those who successfully pass the three levels earn their NALA membership card. This card qualifies a lawyer to practice in any state in the United States. The NALA also publishes a frequently asked questions section that can be utilized for comparison across different legal institutions.
The fourth popular culture exam is the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). This exam structure is administered by the American Bar Associations (ABA) and measures lawyers’ familiarity with the multistate and complex subject matter of the American legal system. MBE also tests lawyers on written communications and numerical intelligence. Although MBE typically ranks high among lawyers who have taken the exam, recent changes to the MBE have impacted the outcome of the test.
The fifth popular culture exam is the International Bar Examination (IBAE). This exam is designed to measure prospective international lawyers’ knowledge of local laws and their ability to transact business in different countries. Many nations, including India, Singapore, and South Korea, currently have internationally recognized Bar Associations. The IBAE tests a lawyer’s writing skills, analytical skills, conversational and verbal skills, as well as their familiarity with local customs, terminology, and court practices. All lawyers who successfully pass the IBAE will then be accepted into a program that prepares them for admission into the legal profession in their home nation.