Texas Bar Exam

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Texas Board of Law Examiners

P.O. Box 13486
Austin, TX 78711-3486
Telephone: (512) 463-1621

Website: http://www.ble.state.tx.us/


BAR EXAM FORMAT

The Texas Bar Exam is a 2½ day exam.

Day 1: a 90-minute Multistate Performance Test (MPT) question and a 90-minute Procedure/Evidence exam.

Day 2: Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), a six-hour, 200-question multiple-choice exam.

Day 3: Twelve essay questions tested over six hours.


SUBJECTS TESTED


Multistate Performance Test (Day One): 

“Closed universe” practical problem using instructions, factual data, cases, statutes and other reference material supplied by examiners.

Procedure & Evidence Exam: Short Answer/Objective Subjects (Day One):

  • Civil Procedure (including federal and state court jurisdiction, pleading and practice)
  • Federal and Texas Criminal Procedure
  • Texas Civil and Criminal Evidence


Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) Subjects (Day Two): 

  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts/Sales
  • Criminal Law/Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Real Property
  • Torts

Texas Essay Subjects (Day Three):

  • Business associations (including agency, corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and professional associations)
  • Trusts & Guardianships
  • Wills & Administration
  • Family Law (including Community Property)
  • Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
  • Consumer Rights (including DTPA and Insurance)
  • Real Property (including Oil & Gas)

Cross-Over Essay Topics (Day Three):

  • Income, estate, and gift tax issues (to be included where appropriate as an element of questions in other subjects, such as family law, oil and gas, wills, etc.)
  • Bankruptcy (to be included where appropriate as an element of questions in other subjects, such as family law, wills and estates, real property, etc.)

BAR EXAM DATES

The Texas Bar Exam is administered on the last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in February and July.

2014 Winter:  February 25, 26, and 27

2014 Summer: July 29, 30, and 31


FILING FEES AND DEADLINES

Applications must be timely filed by August 30 for the February exam, and by January 30 for the July exam. Late applications are accepted with $150 additional fee until October 30 for the February exam and March 30 for the July exam.

Exam fees:
The following categories of applicants must submit the following application fees payable to the "Board of Law Examiners":

In-state law students: $320
Out-of-state law students: $435
Attorneys licensed elsewhere: $1,040
Attorneys for admission without exam: $890
Attorneys licensed in a foreign nation: $1,140


BAR EXAM FILING ADVICE

Take Appropriate Steps To Ensure Timely Delivery: Your application is one of thousands that will be sent to the same office address. Use Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested or other appropriate verifiable means (e.g., FedEx, UPS) when sending all correspondence to the bar examiners so that you have proof regarding when your application was postmarked, when it arrived and who received it.  Check with the state bar examiner’s office before sending your application regarding what types of delivery they will accept.

Payment:  Application fees are generally non-refundable. Verify acceptable forms of payment with your state (i.e., no personal checks).  If you apply to take the bar exam, pay all fees and subsequently withdraw, you must contact the Bar Examiners. You may have to submit a new application, a new filing fee and new copies of related documents in order to sit for the exam at a future date.

Employment History:  Many states’ bar applications require information regarding your past employment since the age of 18 (i.e., name and address of employer, reason for leaving). Begin compiling a list of employers and their current addresses so that you have this information for your application.

Character References:  Many states’ bar applications require a list of persons who can attest to your good character. Begin compiling a list of non-relatives who have known you for at least two (2) years who can vouch for your integrity.

Driver Abstracts:  Some bar applications require you to produce a Driver’s Abstract from all states in which you were licenced to drive. Contact the Division of Motor Vehicles in each state and request the most complete abstract of your driving record that is available.

Fingerprints:  In some states you must submit your fingerprints on a special card with your exam application.   Have your fingerprints rolled by a professional law enforcement officer onto the forms provided by the bar examiners.


GRADING AND RESULTS

MBE (weighted 40%), essay (weighted 40%), MPT (weighted 10%) and Procedure/Evidence exam (weighted 10%) are combined. A passing score requires a minimum of 675 whole scaled points out of 1,000. Applicants must pass exam in its entirety. Results are generally released in early May for February exam and early November for July exam.


RECIPROCITY

Acceptance of MBE Score
Texas does not accept an MBE score from an exam taken in another jurisdiction

Admission on Motion
May be admitted without exam if actively engaged in the practice of law for at least 5 of 7 years immediately preceding application; have a JD from an ABA accredited law school; have a valid, active license and have been a member in good standing at all times.


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