Bar Exam Information for Graduating Students
For further information please check out the Graduating Student Resources: Preparing for the Bar Application Process Canvas page.
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), is a two-hour, 60-question multiple-choice examination that is administered three times per year- March, August, and November. It is required for admission to the bars in majority of the U.S. jurisdictions. MPRE requirements can vary from state to state, so check with the bar agency in the jurisdiction of your choosing for specific requirements.
Please see the links below for information on various MPRE prep courses.
The bar examination is typically offered two times per year: February and July. Depending on the jurisdiction, the bar exam will span two or three days.
Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) Components:
Many jurisdictions have started using the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). The UBE is a two-day exam that includes three different components: MBE, MEE, MPT.
The Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)
The MBE is a six hour, standardized, multiple-choice exam consisting of 200 questions, 175 of which are graded. The MBE covers seven substantive areas (civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, real property, and torts).
Jurisdictions that administer the UBE weight the MBE component 50%.
The Multistate Essay Exam (MEE)
The MEE is a collection of 30-minute essay questions administered by participating jurisdictions on the Tuesday before the last Wednesday in February and July of each year.
The MEE tests your written application of law and the number of essays and time limit may vary per essay and per jurisdiction. Areas of law that may be covered on the MEE include: business associations (agency and partnership, corporations and limited liability companies), civil procedure, conflict of laws, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, family law, real property, torts, trusts and estates (decedents' estates, trusts and future interests), and uniform commercial code (secured transactions). Some questions may include issues in more than one area of law. The particular areas covered vary from exam to exam.
Jurisdictions that administer the UBE weight the MEE component 30%.
The Multistate Performance Test (MPT)
The MPT consists of two 90-minute skills questions covering legal analysis, fact analysis, problem solving, resolution of ethical dilemmas, organization and management of a lawyering task, and communication. The MPT is administered by participating jurisdictions on the Tuesday before the last Wednesday in February and July of each year.
The MPT is designed to test an examinee’s ability to use fundamental lawyering skills in a realistic situation and complete a task that a beginning lawyer should be able to accomplish. The MPT is not a test of substantive knowledge. Rather, it is designed to evaluate certain fundamental skills lawyers are expected to demonstrate regardless of the area of law in which the skills arise.
Jurisdictions that administer the UBE weight the MPT component 20%.
State Specific Portions
Each State may have additional essays, additional days of testing, or additional multiple choice questions. The State specific portions, if any, will be identified on that State’s bar examination website along with the topics tested.
Requesting Accommodations on the Bar Exam
Accommodation requests with some states may require a couple of months to review, so make sure you check with the particular state you are taking the exam on when the deadline is to request an accommodation.
For further information regarding state specific accomodation processes visit the American Bar Association website.
Bar Review Courses
Many University of Chicago Law School students will take a bar preparation course in the spring. The Law School does not and will not recommend any particular provider, so the Law School encourages you to talk to employers and recent graduates in regards to which bar preparation course to take. If you are working with a law firm they may cover the cost of the bar preparation course. Please contact your law firm in regards to how to handle costs associated with the preparation course.
Please see the links below for information in regards to a few exam preparation courses.
Preparing the Bar Exam Application
Bar Examination Application Deadlines
Application deadlines can vary from state to state, so you will not be receiving communication from the University of Chicago Law School in regards to upcoming deadlines. Check with your State Board of Bar Examiners to confirm deadlines for the application and exam dates.
Some jurisdictions require fingerprinting. There is a free fingerprinting service offered through the Department of Safety and Security at the University of Chicago that is available to members of the University community. You can make an appointment by calling 773.702.6008 or emailing email@example.com.
The Registrar’s Office has a notary available to you by appointment if you need any bar forms notarized. If you are in Illinois this notary service can be done remotely over Zoom. Please keep in mind this Zoom session will need to be recorded.
Notary services can also be done in person in the Hyde Park area. Please have your unsigned form with a government issued ID with you. There are no fees for this service.
To schedule a notary service please email the Registrar's Office. firstname.lastname@example.org
Bar Authorization Form
A Bar Authorization Form will need to be completed and returned to the Law School Registrar's Office by February 1, 2021 for the July 2021 bar examination.
This Authorization form will allow the University of Chicago to furnish any student records, documents and any other information pertaining to the student, which may be pertinent to an investigation of character and fitness to practice law to the Boards of Law Examiners/State Bars/Equivalent Licensing Agencies for the states and examination dates of your choosing.
Make sure the form is completed with an original signature. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.
Character and Fitness
In addition to taking the bar examination each applicant needs to show that they have the honest moral character and they possess the fitness to fulfill all obligations and responsibilities as a practicing attorney at law.
Character and fitness requirements may vary by state to state. Since this process can take some time, it is best to have all of your records in place well in advance. It is a good idea to have all information of all residences you have lived at since you were 18 years, all past employment information, pull your driving record to check for any tickets received, details of all disciplinary situations you were a part of, etc. when completing the character and fitness requirements.
What is a disclosure?
“Disclosure” refers to when a student must supplement their original law school application regarding a response to one of the character and fitness questions on one of the following three subjects: criminal history, educational discipline, or military discharge.
For an overview of the bar application character and fitness and disclosure process, please review the presentation, Character & Fitness Applications & Bar Disclosures.
Please contact Associate Registrar, Sunny Sterba (email@example.com), if you would like to discuss a disclosure before officially submitting the disclosure. Please note that once a disclosure to the Law School has been made, it cannot be removed from your educational record.
Information submitted through the disclosure process only will be viewed by authorized Office of the Dean of Students and Registrar staff and will remain confidential consistent with FERPA.
To submit a disclosure, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bar Exam Certification Forms
The Law School Registrar’s Office can assist you with all of your Bar Examination Forms including Dean Certification forms. Please give the forms to either Assistant Registrar, Kayla Balik (email@example.com) or Associate Registrar, Sunny Sterba (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Registrar’s Office. Forms can also be emailed to email@example.com.
All completed bar forms will be overnighted to the appropriate state the Monday following graduation. A confirmation email will be sent to students once the forms have been sent.