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General Bar Exam Information

Bar examinations in most jurisdictions generally consist of several separate sections. Most jurisdictions use the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) as part of the exam.  The MBE is a six-hour, two hundred question multiple-choice examination covering civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, property and torts. This portion of the bar examination is required in all jurisdictions except Louisiana and Puerto Rico.  In addition, there will be an essay portion of the bar exam and a growing number of states also include a performance test, which tests an applicants’ ability to read and analyze a case file much like a lawyer would.

Approximately half of the states have adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), including New York and, beginning in July 2018, Massachusetts. This is a two-day exam that includes the Multistate Bar Examination, the Multistate Essay Exam (six 30-minute essays) and the Multistate Performance Test (two 90-minute questions designed to test an applicant’s ability to analyze a legal problem.) The UBE is uniformly administered, graded, and scored by user jurisdictions.  The UBE allows applicants to transfer the score to other UBE jurisdictions within a limited time frame after passing it.

Most states also require applicants to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). This is a two-hour, 60-question multiple choice exam administered several times each year.  The MPRE tests applicants’ knowledge of the rules relating to professional conduct. Students are urged to take and pass the MPRE before graduation.  For more information on the MPRE, visit the National Conference of Bar Examiners website In Massachusetts, applicants must take and pass the MPRE before submitting an application to take the bar exam.

Please review the requirements for the state where you plan to take the bar exam.  Information can found on the National Conference of Bar Examiners website.