The Massachusetts Law Component (MLC)

Every person filing a Petition for Admission to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on or after March 1, 2018 is required to pass the MLC exam as a condition of bar admission.

Board of Bar Examiners

The Details of The Massachusetts Law Component (MLC)

What you need for The Massachusetts Law Component (MLC)

The MLC is a 50 question multiple choice exam on key distinctions and essential highlights of Massachusetts law and procedure covering the areas of law listed below.  The exam questions are based on substantive outlines on each topic area provided to petitioners for bar admission upon registration for the MLC.  

  1. Access to Justice
  2. Anti-Discrimination Law
  3. Business Organizations
  4. Civil Procedure
  5. Consumer Protection, G.L. c. 93A
  6. Criminal Law and Procedure
  7. Domestic Relations
  8. Estates and Wills
  9. Evidence
  10. Legal Ethics

     See: SJC Rule 3:01, §§3.3, 6.1.6, 6.3

    When will the MLC be available?

    All persons filing a Petition for Admission on or after March 1, 2018 will receive an email notice providing information on accessing the Bar Applicant Portal and the MLC once their petition is referred to the Board of Bar Examiners. 

    • The email notification will include the Bar Applicant Portal registration information for petitioners to access the MLC.  
    • After a petitioner is logged in, the outlines will be available and must be downloaded before proceeding further. 
    • Once the outlines are downloaded, petitioners may begin the exam. 
    • The petitioner may take the MLC several times as needed to complete successfully. 
    • There is not one specific time frame or due date for taking the MLC exam, as this is a requirement for admission by Examination, UBE Transfer, and Motion.  As a condition of admission, the MLC must be successfully completed and all other admission qualifications must be met prior to being reported to the Supreme Judicial Court. Petitioners sitting for the bar exam are encouraged to complete this requirement after sitting for the exam, and will be notified via email of the MLC deadline for their exam cycle.

    Fees for The Massachusetts Law Component (MLC)

    What is the fee for the MLC?

    There is no fee for the MLC outlines or exam.

    How to start The Massachusetts Law Component (MLC)

    How do I complete the MLC?

    Approximately ten days after filing a Petition for Admission to the Massachusetts Bar at the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court for the County of Suffolk and thereafter referred for evaluation to the Board of Bar Examiners, the petitioner will receive an email notice to the email address in the Petition from: via  

    The email will provide instructions for completing the MLC exam, with a link to download the outlines.  Once the petitioner has completed the download of the outlines, he or she will automatically receive a link to access the exam.

    The successful completion of the MLC is a requirement of bar admission.  Petitioners must successfully complete the MLC in order to be determined qualified for admission to the bar.

    Downloads for The Massachusetts Law Component (MLC)

    Contact for The Massachusetts Law Component (MLC)

    John Adams Courthouse
    One Pemberton Square, Suite 5-140, Boston, MA 02108

    Office hours are 8:30am-4:30pm M-F.

    Fax: (617) 542-5943