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Guide Bar Exam and COVID-19

Information about the impact of COVID-19 on the administration of the Uniform Bar Exam, now scheduled to be held remotely on February 23-24, 2020 in Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

February 2021 Exam

The Court's e-filing period for petitions for admission by alternate, remote examination began on November 18 and will close on December 23. Further details are available on the FAQ page, and updates will be posted to our Facebook page as new information becomes available.

As the Massachusetts Petition for Admission is filed as a docketed civil case at the S.J.C., the fee attached to it is a case filing fee at the Court and these fees are non-refundable. The BBE does not have any authority over fees, so applicants with questions about fees should reach out to the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for the County of Suffolk.

Applications for non-standard testing accommodations (NTA) were due by July 17, 2020. Each request will be considered individually, and information about accommodations will be communicated directly to examinees.

Additional Resources for February 2021 Exam

October 2020 Exam


Results from the October 2020 exam were emailed to examinees on December 8, 2020. The pass list and statistical breakdown can be found here.  Currently, the formal in-person admission ceremonies are tentatively scheduled for the week of January 11-15, 2021. 

Reciprocity for October 2020 Remotely-Administered Exam for Admission to the Massachusetts Bar 

The Board of Bar Examiners will automatically report each petitioner's score on the October 2020 Remotely-Administered Exam for Admission to all jurisdictions having a reciprocal agreement with Massachusetts, and will accept scores from other jurisdictions offering reciprocity.

If you took the October 2020 remote exam in a reciprocal jurisdiction (Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, or Washington DC), received a 270 or greater, and are looking to transfer this score to Massachusetts, please use the UBE Transfer Petition. Scores earned from the October 2020 remote exam are not UBE scores, but will be treated as such for score transfer purposes.

Important Notes:

  • Examinees do not need to go through NCBE to request that their score be sent to Massachusetts. As long as you did not opt out of score sharing with the jurisdiction where you sat, then your score was automatically shared with all other reciprocal jurisdictions after results were released.
  • On the petition itself, list your remote exam score where it asks for your UBE score; an exam date of October 5-6 2020 will indicate to our office that this is a score from the remote exam rather than a UBE score, so you do not need to provide further clarification on the petition.
  • All filing and admission requirements aside from the UBE score, including an MPRE score of 85 or greater and the successful completion of the Massachusetts Law Component (MLC), remain the same for October 2020 examinees as for UBE Transfer petitioners.
  • October 2020 remote exam score transfers will be accepted until October 2023. Exam scores are valid for 36 months from when the exam was administered.

Submitting your Petition

Filing Requirements

For the first time, petitioners for Admission by Examination/Re-examination will be able to submit their application by means of e-filing, using Tyler's Guide and File System. This system is already utilized by the Clerk's office to accept petitions for Admission by Motion and Admission by Transfer of UBE Score. In order to submit your Petition through e-file, you will be required to upload PDF versions of the following documents:

  • MPRE Score Report (Official or Unofficial Transcript)
  • Law School Certificate completed, signed and dated by your law school
  • Recommendation from a member of the bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or of any state district or territory of the United States.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Laptop Registration and Statement of Compliance forms, if applicable.
  • Current (dated within 90 days) Certificates of Admission and Good Standing from every jurisdiction to which you are admitted, if applicable.
  • Current (dated within 90 days) Grievance Letters from every jurisdiction to which you are admitted, if applicable.
  • Records detailing affirmative responses, if applicable.

Petitioners filing to sit for the bar exam for the first time will also need to provide addresses and dates of residency for every residence they have had in the last five years, colleges, universities, and law school(s) they have attended, as well as dates of attendance, and any employment they have held since their 18th birthday. Petitioners re-taking the exam will need to provide all changes since they last filed a petition. 

Incomplete Petitions will not be accepted. 

Filing Information

November 18-December 23:

Petitions for admission by examination are now being accepted from all petitioners who have met all requirements of S.J.C. Rule 3:01 (including having obtained a passing score on the MPRE).

The Board of Bar Examiners recommends that all petitioners review the Guide to Filing a Petition for Admission by Examination (First-Time) or the Guide to Filing a Petition for Admission by Re-Examination as well as the FAQs Related to October 2020 Examination for Admission to the Massachusetts Bar prior to filing your petition.

You may access the e-file site here

Additional Resources for Submitting your Petition

Foreign-Educated Attorneys

Foreign-educated attorneys are required to submit a request for an advanced determination of educational sufficiency at least 4 months prior to the application deadline in order to be eligible to sit for the exam, per Board of Bar Examiners Rule VI.