At UMKC Law, we have bar prep covered. As of December 2023, all UMKC Law J.D. graduates are enrolled in Helix Bar Review, a premier online bar prep program, as part of their tuition and fees! And all UMKC Law J.D. graduates will be in enrolled in the UMKC in-person bar review program as part of their tuition and fees!

UMKC Law's Partnership with Helix

All UMKC Law J.D. graduates are now enrolled in Helix Bar ReviewThis bar prep class comes at no additional cost, it is covered in your tuition and fees. This online prep class empowers our students to succeed on the bar exam from wherever they may be post-graduation. It also provides our students with preparation for the MPRE and success as a 1L. Learn more about our partnership with Helix Bar Review in our FAQs below, or by visiting the Helix home page:

 Click to learn more about Helix Bar Review

Choosing Law School Courses to Prepare for the Bar Exam

Students often want to know which law school classes would be of benefit to them to be prepared for the bar exam. While the required courses cover almost all bar topics, this listing provides additional information.

Browse topics and courses (PDF)

The UMKC Bar Prep Program

In addition to Helix Bar Review, all UMKC J.D. graduates are enrolled in The UMKC Bar Prep Program, an in-person supplement to the Helix Bar Review.  This bar prep class comes at no additional cost, it is covered in your tuition and fees.  Learn more about The UMKC Bar Prep Program in the FAQs below.

The bar examination may be one of the most intellectually challenging experiences for any law school graduate. The stakes are high—and so is the stress. To help our students prepare for the test, we offer bar preparation courses to assist our students in passing the exam. The UMKC Bar Prep Program is unique and focuses preparation by concentrating on strategies and tactics to pass the bar exam.

 

Meeting Times for The UMKC Bar Prep Program

Our bar prep classes meet once or twice a week in the afternoons for our summer bar prep course and in the evenings for our winter bar prep course. All classes are videotaped and posted online. Our key emphasis is not the classes themselves, but completing practice essays every week. We will also cooperate with UMKC J.D. and LL.M. students who are not in Kansas City during the summer.

Bar prep class schedules    View class materials (Password required)

 

You Can Sponsor Students’ Bar Prep Support

A UMKC Law student typically spends more than $4,000 on courses for bar prep.  While the School of Law ensures that students are provided bar prep at no additional cost to them, there is a cost to the law school to provide this benefit.  Because of our partnership with Helix Bar Review and our UMKC Bar Prep Program, we can provide these programs at a cost of $1,000 per student.  Your sponsorship ensures that bar prep will be covered at UMKC School of Law which continues to provide a best-value legal education!

Frequently Asked Questions

Helix Bar Review by AccessLexSM is state-of-the-art bar prep.  It aids law school graduates as they prepare for the bar exam.

For nearly 40 years, nonprofit AccessLex Institute® has been partnering with member institutions — the nearly 200 state-affiliated and nonprofit ABA-approved law schools — to meet the ever-changing needs and challenges of law students and the legal education community it serves. From providing free resources for every step of the law school journey to maximizing the value and affordability of a law degree through research and policy advocacy, it exists to increase access and further the success of aspiring lawyers from admission to law school to admission to the bar.

Nonprofit AccessLex is mission-driven to provide best-in-class, full-service bar review at an affordable, no profit cost, bridging the gap between the financial means of a student and access to high quality bar prep. Helix Bar Review is designed for today’s law student. It provides you with the ability to study at home, in your favorite coffee shop and while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store. You can use Helix online and offline and seamlessly move between multiple devices.

Helix Bar Review provides all the resources for success; helps identify your areas of knowledge strength and weakness; ditches long lectures in favor of short topic-specific videos; modernizes your user experience; offers varied, engaging ways to learn; utilizes the latest learning science for increased understanding and long-term retention; and provides the best customer care available. Helix Bar Review offers practice questions with explanations and graded essay review. Helix Bar Review does not stop there and offers a free online course for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE).

To appreciate the benefits of using Helix Bar Review, it helps to understand more about the bar exam itself. The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) developed the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) to give law graduates a portable score that can be transferred to other UBE jurisdictions—meaning you only have to take one bar exam to have a score allowing you to become licensed in other states. Over forty jurisdictions have adopted the UBE, including Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Colorado, and Texas. Visit https://law.umkc.edu/current-students/bar-exam.html for more information about becoming a licensed attorney and about the bar exam.

Every student learns differently, and Helix provides you with every effective tool to help you succeed. Helix UBE, Helix California, and Helix Florida offer assigned and unassigned opportunities for you to engage with substantive law. In addition to NCBE-licensed questions, Helix-developed NCBE-like questions, black letter law knowledge-based questions, and outlines, you'll find checklists, Helix Core Concepts, Helix Issue Highlights, Core Bar Inquiries, substantive law videos, skills-based videos for essays and performance tests, skills-based workshops, intensive half-day workshops called "Pass Classes," flashcards, the Helix Game Center and more. The Helix Book Bundle is also included with your course enrollment. 

The National Conference of Bar Examiners is currently developing the Next Generation Bar Exam (NextGen). This version of the bar exam intends to test a broader range of foundational lawyering skills and is designed to balance the skills and knowledge needed in litigation and transactional legal practice. The NextGen exam is scheduled to debut in July 2026. As the premier sponsor of bar preparation research, AccessLex is well-poised to prepare law graduates for any bar exam changes and Helix Bar Review will do just that.

No! UMKC is committed to providing the necessary support and resources to help our students be successful in passing the bar.  For that reason, Helix Bar Review is available to all UMKC Law students and the cost is included in your tuition and fees.  

No. You do not have to use Helix Bar Review. You have a choice to use any bar review provider that you wish at your cost. Helix Bar Review is included in your law school fees. If you choose to use another provider, no refund of law school bar prep fees is paid.

UMKC’s partnership with Helix Bar Review is based on our assessment that Helix offers a great value for students. If your firm is paying for you to use, and directs you to use, a different bar prep vendor, UMKC’s partnership with Helix in no way hinders you. And you will remain eligible to participate in our in-person UMKC Bar Prep Program that supplements any bar prep vendor’s materials.

The UMKC Bar Prep Program is not being replaced!  Moreover, we are now offering it at no cost to our post December 2023 graduates. The UMKC Bar Prep Program will work in tandem with Helix Bar Review to provide the top-notch feedback, guidance, and support that have been the hallmarks of the UMKC Bar Prep Program for over twenty years.  Our in-person program is designed to work in conjunction with Helix Bar Review.

Absolutely! The UMKC Bar Prep Program has always coordinated its schedule with the major bar prep providers and will continue to do so. You do not have to use Helix Bar Review to participate in the UMKC Bar Prep Program. Indeed, all UMKC Law graduates are encouraged to actively participate in the UMKC Bar Prep Program at no cost.

Good news!  The cost of both programs is included in your tuition and fees.

The Law School’s partnership begins with December 2023 J.D. graduates. Alumni who graduated prior to December 2023 may participate in Helix Bar Review at a discounted price. Alumni should contact Prof. Wanda M. Temm at temmw@umkc.edu or Elizabeth Couzens at couzense@umkc.edu for additional information on the discount.

You do not have to be living in Kansas City to use Helix Bar Review.  Helix is a completely online program. All UMKC bar-prep classes are recorded and posted online. Essays are submitted and returned by email. No barrier to participating exists for those not located within driving distance of UMKC Law.  Still, if you can, we find that attending in-person can make a real difference in your bar-prep experience.

Helix Bar Review is available for all forty-plus Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) jurisdictions, the California Bar Exam, and the Florida Bar Exam. It is not currently available for all states.

Absolutely! Students have participated in the UMKC Bar Prep Program taking the bar exam in many different states, not just UBE states. We are here to support you.

You must apply to take the bar exam in the state of your choice.  Each state will have its own application fees and deadlines. The Missouri Bar Exam’s fees may be found here: https://www.mble.org/exam-application-fees-and-deadlines. The Kansas Bar Exam’s fees may be found here: https://www.kscourts.org/Attorneys/Kansas-Bar/Bar-Exam.

In addition, you will have your regular costs of living. You should plan to have sufficient funds to cover those costs from your graduation through getting your results. February Bar Exam results for Missouri and Kansas are typically available in April. July Bar Exam results for Missouri and Kansas are typically available in September.

One post-graduate student loan is available to those otherwise eligible to cover the costs of applying to take the bar exam to become licensed. This covers your application fees and is paid when you submit your receipts.

Separate private bar prep loans are available to cover your other costs, including cost of living. These are private loans, not student loans. Thus, you must be creditworthy and will repay the loan separately from your student loan.

Many of our most successful alumni overcame an initial bar-exam challenge. We are proud of our ultimate bar pass rates at UMKC School of Law and we are here to support you. If you are a December 2023 graduate or later, you are eligible for a free repeat Helix Bar Review course, if you meet the terms of the Helix Guarantee. (See “Do you offer a free repeat?” in the Helix FAQs.)

Alumni are welcome to participate in the UMKC Bar Prep Program should they need to re-take the bar exam.

We welcome our transfer J.D. students and our LLM students and want them to take full advantage of our bar prep program offerings. We encourage you to participate in the UMKC Bar Prep Program at no additional cost. Your cost for Helix Bar Review will depend upon the number of hours you actually take at UMKC School of Law. Contact Elizabeth Couzens at couzense@umkc.edu for additional information on the cost.

For a fee, we welcome graduates from other law schools to participate in the UMKC Bar Prep Program, our in-person course that supplements Helix Bar Review and other bar prep vendors’ programs for a fee. Access to Helix Bar Review at our discounted rate is available only for UMKC School of Law graduates.  Of course, graduates of other law schools may seek to purchase Helix Bar Review at its standard rates.

   2024 Non-UMKC Fee Schedule

 

Working during bar prep is one of the leading causes of bar failure.  Bar prep requires 100% of your focus and effort. Plan your finances ahead of time to save sufficient funds to cover your costs of living for the bar preparation period and for at least two months to wait for your results.

AccessLex is committed to supporting all facets of legal education. Helix offers free 1L Mini-Outlines for many 1L courses. And Helix offers a free online, on-demand MPRE prep course to be used when you prepare for that exam, typically taken during your 2L year. Additionally, AccessLex offers a series of Student Success and Bar Success lessons on their AskEDNA! platform.  Most importantly, these mini-outlines are not a substitute for reading and creating your own outlines.  And your individual faculty, based upon there deep experience with UMKC Law students, may take a different approach to an issue than a Helix 1L student guide.  In such a case, your faculty member’s approach is always the best path.

MAX by AccessLex® provides quick and easy to understand lessons, free one-on-one financial coaching from Accredited Financial Counselors®, and scholarship incentives each year to keep you motivated. From paying for law school to student loan repayment to investing for your retirement – and every step in between – MAX has you covered.

The Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) is required in all but two U.S. jurisdictions, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico. The purpose of the MPRE is to measure candidates' knowledge and understanding of established standards related to the professional conduct of lawyers.  The MPRE is given three times a year and should be taken near the end of your second year of law school. Helix Bar Review offers a free preparatory course to all students, whether they ultimately use its full bar review course or not.

Helix Bar Review has a schedule to fit your needs.  It provides a 10, 12, 16 or 20-week schedule. You may begin when you wish during your last semester of law school. The UMKC Bar Prep Program typically begins after graduation.