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Massachusetts Bar Exam

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Format, Content, & Grading of the Massachusetts Bar Exam

  


All data provided below are subject to change by a decision at any time by the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners.  When any changes are made, they will be posted on this site.

The Massachusetts Bar Exam is a two-day exam -- Wednesday and Thursday -- with the multiple-choice Multistate Bar Exam on Wednesday and the Massachusetts local essays on Thursday.

First Day (Wednesday) morning session: 
3 hours 
Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)
100 Multiple-Choice questions.

First Day (Wednesday) afternoon session: 
3 hours
Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) 
100 Multiple-Choice questions.

If you take two bar exams at the same time (local in another state, such as Pennsylvania or New York, on Tuesday, the MBE in either state on Wednesday, the essay day in Massachusetts on Thursday), Massachusetts will accept the score of the MBE taken in either state. 

Check to see if your other state has the same policy on accepting the MBE.  If not, be certain to take the MBE in the other state, so that it will apply to both jurisdictions.

For further details on the MBE, click here.

Second Day (Thursday):  
10 Massachusetts Essay Questions


Subjects Tested on the Massachusetts Local Portion:
Agency
Commercial Paper
Constitutional Law
Consumer Protection
Contracts/Sales
Corporations
Criminal Law / Criminal Procedure
Domestic Relations
Evidence
Federal Jurisdiction
Mortgages
Massachusetts Practice & Procedure
Partnership
Professional Responsibility
Real Property
Secured Transactions
Torts
Trusts
Wills


Grading of the Massachusetts Bar Exam:

Your scaled score on the MBE and the essay portion are combined. You need a combined score of at least 270 (equal to a scaled 135 on the MBE and a scaled 135 on the local portion).

Massachusetts generally releases the results of the Summer exam in November and the results of the Winter exam in May.

*MPRE -- A scaled MPRE score of at least 85 will be required before you can sit for the Massachusetts Bar Exam.


Massachusetts Bar Exam Pass Rates

Summer 2006

 

Taking

Passing

Failing

Pass Rate

Applicants

2,104

1,731

373

82.3%

First-Time Takers

1,866

1,659

207

88.9%

Repeaters

238

72

166

30.3%

Summer 2005

 

Taking

Passing

Failing

Pass Rate

Applicants

2,010

1,537

473

76.5%

First-Time Takers

1,772

1,485

287

83.8%

Repeaters

238

52

186

21.8%

Summer 2004

 

Taking

Passing

Failing

Pass Rate

Applicants

1,832

1,416

416

77.3%

First-Time Takers

1,591

1,349

242

84.8%

Repeaters

241

67

174

27.8%

Summer 2003

 

Taking

Passing

Failing

Pass Rate

Applicants

2,098

1,511

587

72.0%

First-Time Takers

1,706

1,396

310

81.8%

Repeaters

392

115

277

29.3%

Mass. Bar Exam Details


Admission on Motion 
(i.e., without having to sit for the bar exam)


1.  You must have been admitted to the bar of another jurisdiction at least five years prior to your Massachusetts application.

2 You must have practiced law or taught law since your admission.

3. You must meet certain other education and technical requirements.

Massachusetts Rules on Admission on Motion 

For further information, contact:

MA Board of Bar Examiners
77 Franklin Street
Boston, MA 02110

617-482-4466 (recording)
617-482-4467 (other inquiries)

 


Exam Dates:

Winter 2007
Wednesday and Thursday, 
February 28 & March 1, 2007

Summer 2007
Wednesday and Thursday, 
July 25 & 26, 2007

Future Dates: 
February 27 & 28, 2008
July 30 & 31, 2008



Filing Deadlines and Fees:

You must file your application with:

The Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court 
for the County of Suffolk
Room 1404 
New Court House
Pemberton Square
Boston, MA 02108

Filing deadlines and fees are subject to change.  Contact the Massachusetts Bar Examiners to learn the rules in effect at the time of your application.

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