About the bar exam in Massachusetts

Things to know about sitting for the bar exam in Massachusetts

The bar exam is a two day exam consisting of Multi-State Bar Examination (MBE) on Wednesday- day 1, and the Massachusetts essay exam on Thursday - day 2. 

The bar exam is currently held in Boston and Springfield, MA.  Exact locations and times are subject to change so it is important for petitioners to be aware of the information pertinent to the current exam.  Details will be available prior to the Petition for Admission by Examination filing period.  The Petition must be filed at least 75 days prior to the exam you wish to take.

The locations for the February 2018 exam are:

Boston - Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), 415 Summer St, Boston, MA

Springfield - Western New England University - School of Law (WNEU), 1215 Wilbraham Ave., Springfield, MA

Examinees will receive 2 emails approximately 1 month prior to the exam with details on exam day information and requirements, the security policy and seating assignment.  You will not receive an admission ticket.

Beginning in July 2018, Massachusetts will be administering the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) providing a portable score that can be transferred to another UBE jurisdiction.  More information will be available in late fall 2017.  The UBE is administered on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Board of Bar Examiners will alert examinees of hotel room block links, if available, prior to the exam.  Available hotel room blocks for the February 2018 bar exam are found here.

Massachusetts has adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE)

Effective March 1, 2018, Massachusetts will be a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) jurisdiction.  The Massachusetts UBE passing score is 270. UBE scores earned in another UBE jurisdiction may be transferred for admission in Massachusetts with 36 months of sitting for the exam.

In order to obtain a portable UBE score, examinees must sit for all components of the UBE in one jurisdiction.  Massachusetts will accept concurrent petitions from examinees sitting for the UBE in another jurisdiction.  Please see Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:01 and the Rules of the Bar Examiners.

For more information on the UBE, please see National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE).

Additional Resources

Bar Exam Dates

February 2018 Bar Exam:

  Exam Dates: Wednesday, February 28 and Thursday, March 1, 2018

  Filing Deadline: The Petition for Admission by Examination for the February 2018 bar exam in Massachusetts is available.  The filing deadline is December 8, 2017.

  Exam Locations:

Lodging information for both locations is available in the additional resources section.

Future Exams

Test Dates

February 2018 February 28- March 1, 2018
July 2018- Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) First Administration in MA July 24-25, 2018 (Tuesday and Wednesday)
February 2019 February 26-27, 2019
July 2019 July 30-31, 2019

Additional Resources

Subjects tested on the Massachusetts essays

The following topics are tested on the February 2018 Massachusetts essay exam:

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

Examples of Massachusetts essays from prior years can be found in the links below.


Additional Resources


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