Why Is It Called Bar Exam?

Have you ever heard of the phrase “bar exam” but you were never quite sure what it was or why it was called that? The bar exam is actually a significant legal milestone that must be passed by anyone who wishes to practice law.

But why is it called “bar exam”? This article will explore the different theories and practices that are associated with the term and provide an insight into the origin of the name. By the end, you will have a comprehensive understanding of why the bar exam is called what it is.

So let’s get started!

Why is It Called Bar Exam?

The Bar Exam is the legal profession’s standard of testing for those who wish to become a lawyer. But, why is it called a Bar Exam?

In order to become a lawyer, a person must pass the Bar Exam, but where did the term “Bar” come from? To understand why it’s referred to as a Bar Exam, you must first understand a bit of legal history.

A Brief History of the Bar Examination

The Bar Exam and the term “Bar” have a long and descriptive history. The origin of the term dates back to the Middle Ages, when English advocates and solicitors would hold court appearances and speak up for their clients.

To separate the lawyers from the non-lawyers, a bar or railing was placed between them in court. The railing was symbolic and acted as a physical boundary that separated out those who were licensed and authorized to practice law from the rest of the courtroom.

Why It’s Called a Bar Exam

The term Bar Exam is derived from this separation of the lawyers from the non-lawyers inside the court setting.

The Bar Exam is the equivalent of this physical separation; it exists to identify those who are qualified to practice law and the privilege to practice. To be eligible to be admitted to the bar, a person must take and pass the Bar Exam. The Bar Exam consists of essays and multiple choice questions that cover various topics of law as well as written and oral exams.


The Bar Exam is an important part of the legal profession and has a long history rooted in the English court system. Any prospective lawyer must attend law school and pass the Bar Exam in order to practice law.

The name Bar Exam is derived from the separation of lawyers and non-lawyers in the English court system and is symbolic of the same physical and professional barrier. Citation URL: https://www. kingsolomonsacademy. org/blog/bar-exam/http://www. judiciary. state. nj. us/legal-profession/bar-admission/faqs-admission. pdf

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