Applying for admission to the Bar has two (2) main criteria: Legal Education/Competency and Character and Fitness. Legal Education/Competency is determined through successful completion of an academic program, such as a JD or LLM degree and passing the state’s bar exam. Character and Fitness is determined through a thorough background investigation conducted by the state. The application process to be admitted to the bar is unique to each state so it will be important to research and become familiar with the state you are interested in obtaining your license to practice law in. This page will offer general information regarding applications, the bar exam, character and fitness, and documentation. You are encouraged to also research the state(s) application process you are interested in being admitted to. Please reach out to the Registrar's Office with questions.
- ALL documents related to your law school attendance (e.g., Dean Certifications, etc.) should go to the Law School Office of the Registrar.
- FERPA requires that you give the Office of the Registrar full consent to correspond with the pertinent Board of Law Examiners. To give consent, please complete a Bar Authorization Form and turn it in to the Office of the Registrar at your earliest convenience, but no later than February 1, 2023 if you are taking the July 2023 bar exam.
- The best source of information regarding the many steps involved in registering and taking each bar exam is the website for the state bar you intend to take. Links to state bar examination websites can be found at http://www.ncbex.org/.
The Bar Exam
The Bar Exam is offered twice a year in February and July. It is either a 2 or 3 day exam that is typically held on the last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (for 3 day exams) of the month.
Many states have adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). The UBE is a two-day exam, comprised of three components:
- The Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)—a six-hour, 200 multiple-choice question exam covering constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, real property, torts, and civil procedure.
- The Multistate Essay Exam (MEE)—a three-hour, six-question essay exam, which may include questions covering the seven MBE topics plus business associations, conflict of laws, family law, UCC Art. 9 (secured transactions) and trusts and estates.
- The Multistate Performance Test (MPT)—two 90-minute simulated case file questions calling for the demonstration of fundamental lawyering skills.
Students who take the UBE earn a portable score that can be transferred to seek admission in other UBE jurisdictions. The states will determine the minimum passing score and any jurisdiction specific requirements. It is recommended that you research the requirements in specificities of the state bar for which you are seeking admission.
States who have not adopted the UBE will have information regarding the specifics of their exam on their webpage.
Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is a 60-question, two-hour, multiple-choice exam tests your knowledge and understanding of the ethical standards of the legal profession. The test is offered nationwide three times per year—in March, August, and November. All states, except for Wisconsin and Puerto Rico, require a passing score on the MPRE exam in order to be admitted to practice. The minimum passing score for the MPRE is unique to the state, so please be sure to check the score required for the particular state you are trying to be admitted to. Some states require that you take the MPRE prior to the bar exam and other states may only require passage of the MPRE in order to be admitted to the bar so it can be taken after the Bar exam. Just keep in mind waiting to take the MPRE until after the bar exam will delay admission to the bar until passage of the MPRE. Most students take the MPRE in March of their 2L year or August of 3L year. At the latest you may take it in November of your 3L year. The deadline for registering for that test is typically late January or early February. The MPRE can be taken in any state and transferred to the jurisdiction where you are applying to the bar.