The Multistate Bar Exam as a Theory of Law

4 Pages Posted: 11 May 2006 Last revised: 13 Mar 2013

See all articles by Daniel J. Solove

Daniel J. Solove

George Washington University Law School


What if the Bar Exam were read as a work of jurisprudence? What is its theory of law? How does the Bar Exam compare to works of jurisprudence by H.L.A. Hart, Ronald Dworkin, Karl Llewellyn, and others? This short tongue-in-cheek book review of the Bar Exam seeks to answer these questions. Each year, thousands of lawyers-to-be ponder over it, learning its profound teachings on the meaning of the law. They study it for months, devoting more time to it than practically any other jurisprudential text. It therefore comes as a great surprise that such a widely read and studied work has barely received scholarly attention. It is time to rectify this situation and put the Bar Exam in its place as the great work of jurisprudence that it is.

Keywords: bar, exam, jurisprudence, philosophy, dworkin, hart, llewellyn

JEL Classification: D45, K10, L84

Suggested Citation

Solove, Daniel J., The Multistate Bar Exam as a Theory of Law. Michigan Law Review, Vol. 104, p. 1403, 2006, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 208, Available at SSRN:

Daniel J. Solove (Contact Author)

George Washington University Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202-994-9514 (Phone)


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