About the Uniform Bar Exam

What you need to know about the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) and the Massachusetts Law Component (MLC).

The Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:01 and the Rules of the Board of Bar Examiners have been amended and shall take effect on March 1, 2018.

Massachusetts will administer the UBE beginning with the July 2018 examination. 

All petitioners for admission to the bar in Massachusetts submitting a petition on or after March 1, 2018 will be required to complete the Massachusetts Law Component (MLC).

What you need to know about the UBE

Information about the UNIFORM BAR EXAMINATION Administered in Massachusetts

Uniform Bar Examination (UBE)

Massachusetts administers the UBE, a bar examination developed and coordinated by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and comprised of the Multistate Performance Test, the Multistate Essay Examination, and the Multistate Bar Examination.  The UBE is uniformly administered, graded, and scored by each jurisdiction that administers the UBE, resulting in a portable score that can be transferred in support of an application for bar admission to other UBE jurisdictions.  More detailed information about the UBE is available at www.ncbex.org/exams/ube.

UBE Components

Multistate Performance Test (MPT)

On Tuesday, the morning session of the examination will consist of the three-hour MPT, composed of two items testing the examinee's ability to use fundamental lawyering skills in a realistic situation to complete an assigned task.  The MPT component is weighted at 20% of the overall UBE score.  The MPT is developed by the NCBE.  More detailed information about the MPT is available at www.ncbex.org/exams/mpt.

Multistate Essay Examination (MEE)

On Tuesday, the afternoon session of the examination will consist of the three-hour MEE, composed of six essay questions based on statements of facts on some or all of the following fields of law: Business Associations; Civil Procedure; Conflict of Laws; Constitutional Law; Contracts, including Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Art. 2; Criminal Law and Procedure; Evidence; Family Law; Real Property; Torts; Trusts and Estates; and UCC Art. 9.  The MEE component is weighted at 30% of the overall UBE score.  The MEE is developed by the NCBE.  More detailed information about the MPT is available at www.ncbex.org/exams/mee.

Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)

On Wednesday, the examination will consist of the six-hour MBE (two sessions, three hours each).  Examinees will be provided with printed statements of facts, consisting of 200 questions based on the following subject areas: Civil Procedure; Constitutional Law; Contracts; Criminal Law and Procedure; Evidence; Real Property; and Torts.  To each question, four alternative answers, prepared by NCBE, will be furnished.  The examinee will be asked to choose the 'best' answer.  Scores will be based on the number of questions answered correctly.  The MBE component is weighted at 50% of the overall UBE score.  The MBE is developed by the NCBE.  More detailed information about the MBE is available at www.ncbex.org/exams/mbe.

Important Note:  Examinees may select to word process the MEE and MPT portions of the bar examination on their own laptop or notebook computers.  To participate, examinees are required to register for the Laptop Computer Testing Program and pay two fees: (1) a non-refundable technology fee of $75 to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and (2) a non-refundable software license and service fee of $100, payable directly to ExamSoft.  Please note that these fees are in addition to the $815 court filing fee for the bar petition case.

You may Petition for Admission by Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) Transfer Score

Admission by Transfer of UBE Score:

  • The required passing score is 270.
  • The UBE score to be transferred must have been achieved from an exam no more  than 36 months prior to submitting your petition for admission. 
  • The Petition fee for admission by transfer is $815.00.
  • You may petition for admission by score transfer even if you have previously failed the bar exam in Massachusetts.
  • The processing time for admission by score transfer has not yet been determined.

Massachusetts administers the UBE.

Admission by Examination or Re-examination:

  • The UBE is  administered twice each year on the last Wednesday and the immediately preceding Tuesday of each February and July.
  • The exam is comprised of the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), and the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) .  Please visit NCBE for details on the UBE components.
  • You must sit for the full UBE in MA or, if filing a concurrent petition in Massachusetts, you must sit in another UBE jurisdiction for the full UBE and have that score transferred to MA immediately upon release of the score by the sitting jurisdiction.  Concurrent scores must be received within five (5) business days of release by the sitting jurisdiction.
  • If filing concurrently, the petitioner will request that NCBE transfer the score to Massachusetts and the petitioner will move forward in the admission process only if a passing score of 270 or higher is achieved.  If the score does not meet the passing requirement, the case will be closed and the petitioner will have to submit a petition for re-examination.

    Additional Resources for What you need to know about the UBE

    Learn about the Massachusetts Law Component

    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

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

        For more information click on the MLC.

        Additional Resources for Learn about the Massachusetts Law Component

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