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Bar Examinations and Admissions

Admission to the bar is regulated by the states. Each jurisdiction has its own bar registration and admission process. It is important for students to familiarize themselves with the requirements of any state in which they plan to practice and to submit all application materials before the stated deadline.  

For general information about bar admissions, visit the American Bar Association (ABA) at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/bar_admissions.html or the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) at http://www.ncbex.org/.

For access to the various state bars, go to http://www.barexam.org/.

Multi-State Bar Exam

The Multi-state Bar Exam (MBE) is a six-hour, 200-question, multiple choice exam that comprises part of the bar exam of all states except Louisiana and the District of Columbia. The MBE tests on six major areas: 

  • Civil Procedure* (Beginning with the February 2015 exam)
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Real Property
  • Torts

Each year, the MBE is administered by participating jurisdictions on the last Wednesday in February and the last Wednesday in July.

Subject matter outlines for the issues covered on the MBE are online at http://ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Information-Booklets/MBEIB2013SMOs.pdf.

Strategies and Tactics for the MBE by Steven Emanuel (Wolters Kluwer, 2012) is a good place to start practicing for the multistate portion of the exam. 

New Jersey Bar Exam

The New Jersey Bar Exam is two days long and is given twice a year at the end of February and the end of July. The exact dates and locations are subject to change from year to year. 

The first day of the New Jersey exam is the MBE. The second day consists of seven 45-minute essay questions. Six of the questions focus on one or more of the six MBE subjects (seven subjects beginning with the February 2015 exam) and generally do not require knowledge of local New Jersey law; the seventh question focuses on both federal and New Jersey Civil Procedure. 

The Bar Examiners have stated that the essay questions may be framed in the context of fact situations involving, and interrelated with, the following subjects: agency; conflicts of law; corporations; equity; family law; partnership; Uniform Commercial Code Articles 2 (Sales), 3 (Commercial Paper), and 9 (Secured Transactions); wills, trusts, and estates; zoning and planning; and disciplinary rules.

Sample New Jersey Bar Exam essay questions and answers are available at https://www.njbarexams.org/bar-exam-questions-and-sample-answers.

Detailed New Jersey Bar Exam information including application forms can be found at www.njbarexams.org.

New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners
P.O. Box 973
Trenton, NJ 08625
Tel: 609-984-2111

New York State Bar Exam

The New York State bar exam is given twice a year on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. The exam is administered at various locations across the state. There are two sections: the New York section which is given on Tuesday, and the MBE, which is given on Wednesday. 

The New York section consists of five essay questions and 50 multiple choice questions. The general subject areas that may be tested are as follows: business relationships including agency, business corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and joint ventures; civil practice and procedure (New York, except as noted);  conflict of laws; New York and federal constitutional law; contracts and contract remedies; criminal law and procedure; evidence; matrimonial and family law; professional responsibility; real property; torts and tort damages; trusts, wills and estates; and UCC Articles 2, 3 and 9.  

Note: The New York State Board of Law Examiners has announced that effective with the July 2014 bar exam, UCC Article 3 will no longer be tested on the New York section and effective with the February 2015 exam, Administrative Law will be added to the list of subject matters tested on the New York section.

Pro Bono Requirement

All candidates seeking admission in New York after January 1, 2015, with the exception of mission on motion candidates, will be required to file documentation that they have completed 50 hours of qualifying pro bono work. For more information, see http://www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/probono/baradmissionreqs.shtml.

Detailed New York State Bar exam information including application forms and past bar exam questions and answers can be found at http://www.nybarexam.org/Default.html.

New York State of Board Examiners
Corporate Plaza, Building 3
254 Washington Avenue Extension
Albany, NY 12203
Tel: 518-453-5990
Fax: 518-452-5729

Multi-State Professional Responsibility Exam

The Multi-State Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) is required for admission by many jurisdictions. Because all Rutgers School of Law–Newark students must successfully complete either Legal Profession or Professional Responsibility in order to graduate, Rutgers students sitting for the New Jersey bar DO NOT have to take the MPRE.

The MPRE is a two-hour, 60 multiple-choice question exam offered in March, August and November of each year.

For detailed information about the MPRE, including practice exams, and test dates, deadlines and fees, visit http://www.ncbex.org/.

Bar Exam Review Courses

The vast majority of students take a bar review course before sitting for the test. For a list of various courses, visit http://stu.findlaw.com/thebar/barreview.html.