Bar Exam Applicants

 Friday, December 5, 2014Deadline for filing your complete application for admission to the Bar with the Supreme Judicial Court Clerk's Office. Applications must be received on or before the deadline (received, not postmarked). Applications received after the deadline will be returned to sender.  
 Friday, December 5, 2014Deadline for filing nonstandard testing accommodations with the Board of Bar Examiners. Applications must be received on or before the deadline (received, not postmarked). Applications received after the deadline will be returned to sender.  
 Friday, December 5, 2014Deadline for filing Springfield seating requests with the Board of Bar Examiners. Applications must be received on or before the deadline (received, not postmarked). Applications received after the deadline will be returned to sender.
 February 25 & 26, 2015Administration of the Massachusetts Bar Examination

Application Forms and Filing Instructions

Exam Information

Boston: Wednesday and Thursday, February 25 and 26, 2015, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC), 415 Summer St., Boston MA 02210, 617-954-2000.  Public transportation and parking is available. For lodging, call the Office of Travel & Tourism:  1-800-447-MASS or www.massvacation.com.

Springfield: The examination will also be administered in Springfield, MA. On the examination dates at Western New England University School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, MA. For lodging, call the Office of Travel & Tourism: 1-800-447-MASS or www.massvacation.com or see www.mass.gov/bbe

All applicants will sit in Boston, unless the Board of Bar Examiners allows the request for the alternate site. Springfield seating is limited and based on a first come, first served basis - the Springfield Seating Request Form pdf format of Springfield Seating Request Form
must be mailed to the below address before the filing deadline.

Please send the Springfield Seating Request form to: 
Board of Bar Examiners
Edward W. Brooke Courthouse
24 New Chardon Street, First Floor
Boston, MA 02114

Nonstandard Testing: If you have a disability that will require special assistance or accommodations at the bar examination, you must complete and file the Nonstandard Testing Accommodation form available at the Board of Bar Examiner's office or the BBE's website www.mass.gov/bbe

Both the applicant and professionals must complete these forms to provide the BBE with details and documentation relating to the disability. The Nonstandard Testing Accommodation form shall be submitted in duplicate to the Board of Bar Examiners at the below address on or before the filing deadline.

Please send the Nonstandard Testing Accommodation form to:
Board of Bar Examiners
Edward W. Brooke Courthouse
24 New Chardon Street, First Floor
Boston, MA 02114

Notification of Seating: Those applicants found eligible to sit will receive site, seating and other pertinent information (via email) from the Board of Bar Examiners approximately 2-3 weeks prior to the examination. Note: There is no admission ticket.

Subjects Tested

  • Agency
  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Business Organizations
  • Mass. Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Contracts
  • Real Property (inc. Mortgages)
  • Criminal Law
  • Torts
  • Descent & Distribution of Estates
  • Trusts
  • Domestic Relations
  • Unfair or Deceptive Practices (G.L.c. 93A)
  • Evidence (including Federal Rules)
  • Uniform Commercial Code (Articles 1-9)
  • Federal Jurisdiction
  • Wills

Essay

The essay portion of the examination is on the second day, and will consist of ten (10) questions based on statements of facts, each calling for an essay type answer. The statements will be based on some or all of the fields of law set forth in the section entitled "Subjects Tested Under Rule 3:01, section 3."

Laptop Computer Testing Program

Bar exam applicants have the option to type the essay portion of the bar exam on their own laptop computers. Learn more.

Multistate Bar Examination

Multistate Bar Examination scores achieved on prior bar examinations are not accepted by the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners. The Board of Bar Examiners will only accept Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) scores transferred from another jurisdiction when they are achieved on a concurrent administration.

If you plan to sit concurrently and your MBE state is Massachusetts, you must complete the form that will arrive with your seating assignment authorizing Massachusetts to transfer your score. The cost to transfer your MBE score from Massachusetts to another jurisdiction is $25.00 (bank check or money order made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – no personal checks accepted).  If you plan to sit concurrently and your MBE state is not Massachusetts, it is your responsibility to make arrangements with your MBE state to have your MBE score transferred to Massachusetts. Failure to do so may result in a delay in receipt of your scores and/or a delay in your admission.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners has published examples of MBE questions used on prior tests which have been printed in one volume, Multistate Bar Examination Questions, 1992. A copy can be obtained from the National Conference of Bar Examiners, 402 West Wilson Street, Madison, WI 53703-3614. To receive a copy of said volume, send a check in the amount of $25, made payable to the National Conference of Bar Examiners (other publications may also be available). A copy may also be obtained on their website: www.ncbex.org

Exam Results

Exam results are released approximately three months after the examination. The results from the February exam are generally released in mid-May. The results from the July exam are released in mid-November. 

The results of those who passed the bar examination are publicly posted at this office, at every Superior Court Clerk's office in the Commonwealth and can also be found on the Board of Bar Examiners website.

Admission to the Massachusetts Bar 

After the public posting and the Board of Bar Examiners recommends your admission, you must be officially admitted either at the formal admission ceremonies or through the alternate admission procedure within one year.

Formal admission ceremonies are hosted on several different dates. You will receive your appearance date and time with your results from the bar examination. 

Alternate admission procedure allows qualified applicants to be sworn into the Massachusetts bar at a different time and location than the official admission ceremonies. The requisite alternate admission materials are mailed after the formal admission ceremonies.

Click here to learn more about admission ceremonies and alternate admission procedure and to find out the dates that formal admission ceremonies will be held.

Bar Registration Number

After you have been admitted, this office will forward your name, address and date of admission to the Board of Bar Overseers. The Board of Bar Overseers will forward the requisite registration materials to you.

You must register within 90 days of your admission. While you await your Bar Registration number or your bar card, it is advised that you use "pending" in lieu of the number.

Practicing with Professionalism Course for New Lawyers

SJC Rule 3:16 on Practicing with Professionalism requires a mandatory course on professionalism for new lawyers admitted to the Massachusetts bar, effective September 1, 2013. Click here to access the calendar for course offerings and a list of providers with links to their professionalism course webpages. 

Copy of Massachusetts Bar Application

One of the functions of the Clerk's Office for The County of Suffolk is keeping records, including the original Petitions for Admission that bar applicants have filed to become members of the Massachusetts bar. 

To obtain a certified copy of an application for Petition for Admission that has been filed with this office, send a written request with a $10.00 non-refundable check made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The $10.00 fee is applied to each certified copy. Copies can be sent to different jurisdictions - please indicate in writing where you would like the certified copy mailed. Written requests should be mailed to the below address:

Maura S. Doyle, Clerk
Supreme Judicial Court for The County of Suffolk
John Adams Courthouse, 1st Floor
One Pemberton Square, Suite 1300
Boston, MA 02108-1707

Regarding Electronic Dissemination of Public Case Information

Please note: The following public case information contained in a Petition for Admission to the bar may be disclosed by the court to third parties in electronic form: name, address, email address, exam period and date of admission.

Please be further informed that any third party who requests this information will be required to enter into a Third Party Non Disclosure Agreement prohibiting it from selling, renting, giving, exchanging, trading or sharing any of the information with other third parties.