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Bar Exam

General Information

For up-to-date information specific to your intended bar jurisdiction, please use the jurisdiction directory maintained by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE).

Format:

Generally a two-day examination process.

  • Day 1: Jurisdiction-specific exam component(s).
  • Day 2: Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), 200-question, multiple-choice exam.

For jurisdiction-specific components of the exam, please refer to the jurisdiction’s bar administration website, which can be found through NCBE’s jurisdiction directory.

Multistate Bar Exam (MBE):

The MBE is a six-hour, 200-question multiple-choice exam administered on the last Wednesday in February and July of each year.

Tested subject matter includes the following: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts.

Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE):

The MPRE is a two-hour-and-five-minute exam administered by NCBE, which consists of 60 multiple-choice questions testing your knowledge and understanding of the ethical standards of the legal profession. Most jurisdictions require passage of the MPRE in order to be admitted to practice.

The vast majority of states allow students to take the MPRE before graduation from law school. A law school course in ethics is not crucial to your success on the MPRE. The exam is offered nationwide each March, August, and November, and most students take the exam sometime after their second year of law school.

Unlike the bar exam, you can take the MPRE in any state and have your score submitted to another state at a later date.

Bar Information Meeting

Each fall, the Student Life and Career Planning offices co-sponsor an informational meeting about the bar examination and related issues.

CHARACTER AND FITNESS

Every state bar application process includes a character and fitness component. At the link below is an article published by the State Bar of Michigan Character and Fitness Department, which describes the character and fitness process in Michigan. Although this process does vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the article contains some information that will be helpful to understanding this process in other states. Please be sure to check with the admissions office of the jurisdiction to which you are applying for specific details about their character and fitness process.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NEW YORK BAR

In April 2012, the New York Board of Law Examiners implemented some changes to its requirements for eligibility to sit for the New York bar. As over one-third of our JD graduates join the New York bar, we want to make sure to highlight these new requirements in relation to your academic career at the Law School. For a complete set of the New York BOLE's eligibility rules, please navigate to their website via NCBE’s jurisdiction directory.

FAQs

Please see this document​ for frequently asked questions about other related topics such as:

  • Fingerprints
  • Driving Records
  • Notarizations