The content scope document outlines the breadth of material to be covered in the areas of legal knowledge and categories of practical skills and abilities that will be tested on the NextGen bar exam.

  • Foundational concepts and principles: civil procedure, contract law, evidence, torts, business associations, constitutional law, criminal law, real property
    • Note: Starting in July 2028, family law will be included in the foundational concepts and principles tested on the NextGen bar exam.
  • Foundational lawyering skills: legal research, legal writing, issue spotting and analysis, investigation and evaluation, client counseling and advising, negotiation and dispute resolution, client relationship and management

It reflects the work of a 21-member content scope committee made up of legal educators, law school deans, practicing attorneys, and bar examiners. The committee’s recommendations are based on a three-year study of the bar exam, which included a nationwide practice analysis survey to identify the knowledge and skills that are necessary for effective practice by newly licensed attorneys. An overview of the process the committee followed to arrive at its recommendations is provided here.

Preliminary Content Scope Outlines were published in early 2022. A public comment period, during which members of the legal community were invited to submit comments on the preliminary outlines, drew responses from nearly 400 stakeholders, including law school deans, faculty, and administrators; practicing attorneys; judges and justices; law students; and bar examiners and admissions staff.

In October 2023, NCBE announced that family law would be added to the list of foundational concepts and principles starting with the July 2028 NextGen bar exam. The family law outline will be added to the NextGen Content Outlines at a later date.

Questions or comments about the content scope? Contact us.