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Bar Exam Support Guide

Essential information, tips, and skills that can be utilized on the bar exam.

Jurisdiction-Specific Information: Virginia

Virginia Bar Application and Certification


For February Bar Exam – December 15th
For July Bar Exam – May 10th

(*Date by which required forms must be received in the Office of the Secretary of the Board of Bar Examiners.) All Virginia Bar application materials are available online on the Virginia Bar website with the exception of the fingerprint card, which can be found in the Law Records Office ( Room 341).


1. Character & Fitness Questionnaire:

  • Must be typewritten; and filed in duplicate (original plus one photocopy); and both copies must be notarized.
  • Must include a current credit report and transcripts of driving records.
  • Must include appropriate fee payment.

The Virginia Board of Bar Examiners encourages early filing of the character & fitness questionnaire and offers a fee reduction if the questionnaire is submitted within the first 14 consecutive calendar months of law school enrollment. The questionnaire is extensive, and while early submission is optional, students should not postpone working on it. A completed questionnaire, if not previously submitted, must accompany the bar application, which is to be filed closer to the planned exam date.

Sample Character and Fitness Questionnaire can be found on the Board of Bar Examiner’s website.

2. Bar Application:

  • Must be typewritten and notarized. Will not be accepted without an accompanying (or previously filed) Character & Fitness Questionnaire.
  • Must include two (2) passport-style photographs and a completed fingerprint card, as prescribed by the bar examiners. Fingerprinting must be done by an authorized police official or through a U.S. Government agency. As a service to students, fingerprinting is done by University Police at the Arlington Campus. The specially required fingerprint cards are available at the Law Records Office and they are also furnished at the law school University Police Office.
  • Must include appropriate education certification, as follows:
    • Currently enrolled students must enclose a law school certificate of enrollment, which is prepared by the Law Records Office. After confirmation that degree requirements have been met, the Law Records Office will prepare a certification of degree award for each applicant and will mail the certifications directly to the Board of Bar Examiners.
      • Bar applicants who have already graduated must enclose a law school certificate of graduation, which may be obtained by contacting the Law Records Office.
    • Must include payment of bar application fee.

Note: The Antonin Scalia Law School Code for the Virginia Bar is: 166.

3. Fee Payment:

Payment is required at time of filing and must be made by money order, cashier’s check, or certified check made payable to the “Virginia Board of Bar Examiners.” For current fee schedule refer to Virginia Bar website. When the questionnaire and application are mailed together in the same envelope, the required fees may be combined in a single payment. If filing the questionnaire early, pay only the questionnaire fee and DO NOT “pre-pay” the application fee.

Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination
Most jurisdictions, including Virginia, require the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) for admission to the bar. Check individual bar examiner’s rules concerning established passing score and specified time frame for taking the exam. In registering for the MPRE, which is typically scheduled in March, August and November, note that the “Regular Application” receipt deadline sets a lower filing fee. Registration packets are available online.

Virginia State Bar Exam: Essay Questions

The Law Library provides PDFs of essay questions from 1995 to the present with the permission of the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners. The Board releases a limited amount of actual essay answers, and does not make available any multiple-choice questions or short answers.

A link to all previous essays, along with Guided Answers and, when made available, sample examinee answers, can be found on the CAS Intranet / Bar Support / Practice Questions / Virginia Bar Exam Essays site.

Virginia Board of Bar Examiners: All Questions from 2000-present. Limited number of Questions and Sample Answers from 2013-present.

** It should be noted that these sample answers are from actual examinee responses. This means that they may contain errors- legal, factual, grammatical, or otherwise. This means that it is possible to get a “10-point” score, despite delivering a less-than-perfect response. Still, keep this in mind when reviewing these sample answers. For instance, irrelevant law may be discussed by an examinee. A recent example of this includes a response that addresses “suretyship” law. Suretyship** is no longer tested on the Virginia bar exam, and discussion of the same was not necessary in order to achieve the highest possible score.

** Starting with the February 2022 exam, Virginia no longer tests Agency, Constitutional Law, or Equity on the essay portion of the bar exam. Effective July 2020, Virginia dropped Conflict of Laws and Taxation as testable topics on the essay portion of the bar exam. Suretyship was dropped in February 2010. More information on topics tested on the Virginia Bar Exam can be found here.


Although subject to change, the July and February Bar Exams are traditionally held at the same locations every year.  Given the number of applicants that take the exam, you are strongly encouraged to make your reservations early.

** Please note that if you are planning to request test accommodations, the testing site may be at another location.  Since accommodations are not guaranteed, you should still reserve a room at a hotel near the main testing site.  All hotels have some cancellation policy.  Therefore, confirm the cancellation policy and, if necessary, make changes once the test site is confirmed. 

July Bar Exam Administration Site: Berglund Center (Roanoke Civic Center), 710 Williamson Road, NE, Roanoke, Virginia, 24016, (540) 853-2241

Host Hotel: The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Curio Collection by Hilton, 110 Shehandoah Ave, Roanoke, VA 24016, 540-985-5900

February Bar Exam Administration Site: Norfolk Waterside Marriott, 235 E. Main St., Norfolk, VA 23510, 757-627-4200

Host Hotel: Norfolk Waterside Marriott, 235 E. Main St., Norfolk, VA 23510, 757-627-4200