This article originally appeared in The Bar Examiner print edition, Summer 2022 (Vol. 91, No. 2), pp. 6-7.

Next Generation of the Bar Exam

Building on a Solid Foundation

Development of the next generation bar examination continues ahead of its planned debut in 2026. As part of its integrated design, eight Foundational Concepts and Principles and seven Foundational Skills underpin the content the new exam will test. These cover the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for competent entry-level practice of law. See the Quarterly Update for more, and to be kept up to date on new exam developments, subscribe here:

a multicolored gear, with each cog listing 1 of the 8 Foundational Concepts and Principles: Contract Law, Evidence, Torts, Business Associations, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Real Property, Civil Procedure

8 Foundational Concepts and Principles

  • Civil Procedure
  • Contract Law
  • Evidence
  • Torts
  • Business Associations
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Real Property


Multicolored cog inside segmented lines that have arrows facing outward. Each segment list 1 of the 7 Foundational Skills: Legal Writing, Issue Spotting and Analysis, Investigation and Evaluation, Client Counseling and Advising, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, Client Relationship and Management, Legal Research

7 Foundational Skills

  • Legal Research
  • Legal Writing
  • Issue Spotting and Analysis
  • Investigation and Evaluation
  • Client Counseling and Advising
  • Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
  • Client Relationship and Management


Further Refining and Public Feedback

The Content Scope Committee was appointed to recommend the breadth and depth of those Foundational Concepts, Principles, and Skills. The Committee included a cross-section of those working in the legal profession, and their hard work produced the Content Scope Outlines. The Outlines recently were shared with stakeholders for a period of public comment, and revisions are now being considered based on that feedback. The Outlines are a preliminary step in developing a more detailed “blueprint” for the new exam—the Test Content Specifications—which are planned for publication in 2024.

pie chart showing the profession of members of the Content Scope Committee: 37% professors, 31% practitioners, 16% clinicians, 16% deans

Content Scope Committee

  • 21 members
  • 16 jurisdictions
  • 15 law schools
  • 10 women, 11 men
  • 12 White, 5 Black, 3 Latinx, 1 Asian


thumbnail cover of the Content Scope Outlines reportContent Scope Outlines

More than 713 people accessed and reviewed the outlines, and 394 comments were submitted (ended April 2022). For the full report, see:

torso and head icon with number 713, representing the number of people who accessed the outlines and a speech bubble: "394 comments submitted"

Contact us to request a pdf file of the original article as it appeared in the print edition.

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