Bar Admission


Bar Admission



Admission to the bar is the term commonly used in the United States to indicate that a person is licensed to practice law as an attorney at law. Different terms for admission are used in other countries. In the United States, admission to the bar is permission granted by a particular court system to a lawyer to practice law in that system.

Each U.S. state and similar jurisdiction (e.g. Territory) can and does set its own rules for bar admission, as a matter of court sovereignty. In practice, this leads to exceptions to nearly every general rule of bar admission.

Admission to the Bar

  • ABA - Bar Admissions

    In order to obtain a license to practice law, almost all law school graduates must apply for bar admission through a state board of bar examiners. Most often this board is an agency of the highest state court in the jurisdiction, but occasionally the board is connected more closely to the state's bar association. The criteria for eligibility to take the bar examination or to otherwise qualify for bar admission are set by each state, not by the ABA or the Council for the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

  • ABA - Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar

    The 25-member Council is the governing body of the Section. It is vested with the powers and duties necessary for the administration of the Section's business, develops budgets, and authorizes expenditures of the Section's monies. With the Accreditation Committee, the Council is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting agency for U.S. law school programs leading to the J.D. degree. The Council meets four times a year.

  • Bar Exam Info

    Free resource to assist U.S. law students and graduates applying to take the bar exam in any state. BarExam.info was created to provide you with the necessary information to quickly and easily navigate the bar exam application process. We have done the hard work of compiling all of the bar exam information for all U.S. jurisdictions and presenting it in any easy-to-use format.

  • National Conference of Bar Examiners - Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements

    General guide to questions concerning bar admissions within each jurisdiction. Includes directory of state bar admission agencies. Use the link on this page to access the most current version of this guide.

  • Supreme Court Bar Admissions Form

    The Supreme Court Bar Admissions Form accessed via the link below may be completed on line, printed, signed, and mailed to the Court in accordance with the Bar Admissions Instructions.

Bar Exam by State

Bar Review Courses

  • Bar Exam Doctor

    The Bar Exam Doctor is a website specifically designed to help students improve their bar exam score. We want help take that 55 and make it a 75! The Bar Exam Doctor and its staff are specifically trained in the area of Performance Tests and Essays. We have put together a specific list of questions and answers to help a student quickly understand what we are all about

  • BARBRI - Bar Review Courses

    Over the last 40 years, more than one million students have trusted BARBRI to help them pass the bar. We offer the most complete program of lectures, workshops and written materials. Our exclusive Paced Program™ guides your studies, puts you at peak performance on exam day, and helps you pass on your first try.

  • Kaplan - Bar Review Courses

    To say prepping for the bar is stressful is a gross understatement. Success takes more than prep materials. Motivation and tailored guidance are also critical. And that's what differentiates Kaplan PMBR from the rest.

  • Pass the Bar

    You can pass the bar exam, no matter where you went to school and no matter what your class rank was! Welcome to the oldest bar exam site on the Internet, with comprehensive on-line bar review services for bar exam students across the United States.

  • Pieper - Full Bar Review Course

    Starting with Pieper's Summer 2010 Full Bar Review Course, Pieper will guarantee that each student in its Full Bar Review Course who takes the NYS Bar Exam for the first time will pass the exam on the first try!

  • Rigos Professional Educational Programs

    Rigos Professional Education Programs is a leading international provider of programs designed to prepare individuals for professional legal and accounting licensing examinations such as the BAR, CPA, and CMA-CFM exams. We also offer professional ethics and legal liability courses for CPAs, CMAs and business enterprises.

Multistate Examination

A bar examination is an examination to determine whether a candidate is qualified to practice law in a given jurisdiction.

United States

Passing the bar exam is typically only one of several steps for being licensed to practice law. For more information on the complete process, see admission to the bar in the United States.

Bar examinations in the United States are administered by agencies of individual states, except for the patent bar, which is separately administered by the Office of Enrollment and Discipline of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The state agency is invariably associated with the judicial branch of government, because American attorneys are all officers of the court of the bar(s) to which they belong.

Sometimes the agency is an office or committee of the state's highest court or intermediate appellate court. In states which have a unified or integrated bar association (meaning that formal membership in a public corporation controlled by the judiciary is required to practice therein), the agency the state bar association or a subunit thereof.

In many jurisdictions, a Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, an ethics exam, is also administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, which creates it and grades it. The MPRE is offered three times a year, in March, August and November.

The bar examination in most U.S. states and territories is two days long.
  • Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)

    The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) is a six-hour, 200-question multiple-choice examination covering contracts, torts, constitutional law, criminal law and procedure, evidence, and real property. The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) is developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and is administered by participating jurisdictions on the last Wednesday in February and the last Wednesday in July of each year. Applicants should contact the jurisdiction where admission is being sought to ascertain whether the MBE is part of the jurisdiction's examination. A regularly updated list of contact information for the jurisdictions appears on the Bar Admission Offices page. The MBE is but one of a number of measures that a board of bar examiners may use in determining competence to practice. Each jurisdiction determines its own policy with regard to the relative weight given to the MBE and other scores. Questions about the use made of MBE scores should be directed to the appropriate jurisdiction, not to NCBE.

  • Multistate Essay Examination (MEE)

    The Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) is a collection of 30-minute essay questions and is administered by participating jurisdictions on the Tuesday before the last Wednesday in February and July of each year. The MEE offers nine questions per examination, with most jurisdictions selecting six questions from the nine. Applicants should contact the jurisdiction where admission is being sought to ascertain whether the MEE is part of the jurisdiction’s examination. A regularly updated list of contact information for the jurisdictions appears on the Bar Admission Offices page. The MEE is but one of a number of measures that a board of bar examiners may use in determining competence to practice. Each jurisdiction determines its own policy with regard to the relative weight given to the MEE and other scores. Grading of the MEE is the exclusive responsibility of the jurisdiction administering the exam. Any questions about scoring procedures should be directed to the jurisdiction, not to NCBE.

  • Multistate Performance Test (MPT)

    The MPT consists of two 90-minute skills questions covering legal analysis, fact analysis, problem solving, resolution of ethical dilemmas, organization and management of a lawyering task, and communication. Introduction The Multistate Performance Test (MPT) is developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and is administered by participating jurisdictions on the Tuesday before the last Wednesday in February and July of each year. The NCBE offers two 90-minute MPT items. Applicants should contact the jurisdiction where admission is being sought to ascertain dates of administration and whether one or more MPTs are part of the jurisdiction’s examination. A regularly updated list of contact information for the jurisdictions appears on the Bar Admission Offices page. The MPT is but one of a number of measures that a board of bar examiners may use in determining competence to practice. Each jurisdiction determines its own policy with regard to the relative weight given to the MPT and other scores. Grading of the MPT is the exclusive responsibility of the jurisdiction administering the exam. Any questions about scoring procedures should be directed to the appropriate jurisdiction, not to NCBE.

  • Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)

    The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is a 60-question, two-hour-and-five-minute, multiple-choice examination administered three times each year. Introduction The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is required for admission to the bars of all but four U.S. jurisdictions. Passing scores, which are established by each jurisdiction, currently vary between 75 and 86. Applicants are advised to contact the jurisdictions directly for the most current information regarding passing scores, rules, and policies. A regularly updated list of contact information for the jurisdictions appears on the Bar Admission Offices page.