Arizona: Early Testing

While a J.D. is required in order to gain admissions via testing, the Arizona Supreme Court allows "early" bar examination (i.e. taking the exam prior to graduation) in some situations.

Please read the requirements below to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for early exam. Contact the Bar & Academic Success team at University of Arizona Law if you wish to proceed with early testing so we can determine your eligibility for the exam. Click on this link for the Early Testing Affidavit.

Click on the link for the full text of A.R.S. Sup. Ct. Rules, Rule 34; in brief:

An applicant may sit for the Arizona bar exam prior to the award of a juris doctor (J.D.) degree if the applicant:

  • is in good standing at an ABA approved law school;
  • is expected to graduate within one hundred twenty (120) days of the test;
  • has satisfied all requirements for graduation except for not more than 8 semester hours at the time of the test;
  • will not be enrolled in more than 2 semester hours during the month of the early exam and the immediately preceding month;
  • has been determined by their school to be academically prepared for early testing;

Such applicant must provide an affidavit whereby both they (the student applicant) and their law school's designee attest that the applicant meets the above criteria. 

The applicant must then subsequently graduate and meet the other requirements for bar admission, or their early test score will be voided.

Other Jurisdictions: Early testing

Most Arizona Law students who take the test before attaining their J.D., do so in Arizona; Arizona is one of a few states that allow this practice. However, there are about a dozen other states that allow early testing. See this article from JD Advising for a list. Check with those jurisdictions is this is something you might be interested in. 

Image of Early Testing Affidavit eligibility

Image of Early Testing Considerations

Overview image of Early Testing Students' Final Semester

Image of Why Students took the February Bar


Keep In Mind:

Take seriously your the decision to sit for the bar exam early. THE BAR EXAM IS NOT A PRACTICE TEST.

Don't sit for the bar exam with the mindset that you can always retake it in July. Commit to the exam or delay taking. There are many costs associated with retaking the bar exam, including the stigmatizing emotional consequences, that make the passage rate for re-takers significantly lower. You should always approach a high stakes evaluation with a positive mindset.