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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.

The Massachusetts Law Component (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.

Table of Contents

About the MLC

The MLC tests ten areas of Massachusetts law:

  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

Successful completion of the MLC is a requirement for admission to the bar for all petitioners - whether applying by Examination, UBE Transfer, or Motion. 80%, or 40 out of 50 correct, is considered passing.

From when an exam is started, it must be completed within 4 days, otherwise it will expire. Petitioners may repeat the MLC as many times as needed without penalty, however there is a 24-hour waiting period after an unsuccessful submission before a new exam may be started.

There are no fees associated with the MLC.

Petitioners for Admission by Examination

All examinees will receive an email inviting them to register for the Applicant Portal (Portal), sent in approximately early January for February examinees and early June for July examinees. This email will come from MALawComponent@bbe.state.ma.us with the subject "Welcome to Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners (MBBE) Applicant Portal." If you do not receive this email, please be sure to check your spam/junk folder.

This email will provide instructions for completing the MLC, as well as your Portal username and a temporary password, which you will reset upon your first login.

Through the Portal, you will be able to download the MLC outlines and access the exam. 

It is strongly recommended that examinees complete the MLC after sitting for the bar examination. The deadline to complete the MLC is September 30 for the July bar examination and March 31 for the February bar examination. Failure to complete the MLC by the deadline may delay your admission to the bar.

Repeat examinees will use the same Portal account, and do not need to repeat the MLC if they have already successfully completed it with a prior exam administration.

Additional Resources

Petitioners for Admission by UBE Transfer or Motion

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, your case is referred for evaluation to the Board of Bar Examiners. Within approximately two weeks, the petitioner will receive an email notice inviting them to register for the Applicant Portal (Portal). This email will come from MALawComponent@bbe.state.ma.us with the subject "Welcome to Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners (MBBE) Applicant Portal." If you do not receive this email, please be sure to check your spam/junk folder.

This email will provide instructions for completing the MLC, as well as your Portal username and a temporary password, which you will reset upon your first login.

Through the Portal, you will be able to download the MLC outlines and access the exam. 

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. Failure to complete the MLC in a timely manner may delay your admission to the bar.

Contact for The Massachusetts Law Component (MLC)

Phone

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

Fax

Fax: (617) 542-5943

Address

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

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