Virginia Bar Exam

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Virginia Board of Bar Examiners

2201 W. Broad Street
Suite 101
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 367-0412 Phone (calls answered 10:00 to 12:00 and 2:00 to 4:00)
(804) 367-0416 Fax
Office Hours: 8:30 to 4:30 Monday - Friday
Closed on State Holidays

Website: http://www.vbbe.state.va.us/

Bar exam information is subject to change without notice, please verify with bar examiner’s office.


BAR EXAM FORMAT

The Virginia Bar Exam is a 2 day exam.

Day 1: Nine essay questions plus 10 short answer questions with emphasis on Virginia law (worth 60%).
Day 2: Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), a 200 question, multiple-choice exam (worth 40%).


SUBJECTS TESTED


MBE Subjects: 

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

Virginia Essay Subjects:
The Essay portion includes essay and short-answer questions and will test the applicant's knowledge in the following areas:

  • Agency
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Business Organizations
  • Creditor's Rights
  • Criminal Law
  • Domestic Relations
  • Equity
  • Evidence
  • Federal Practice and Procedure
  • Local Government Law
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Real and Personal Property
  • Sales
  • Taxation
  • Torts
  • Trusts
  • Uniform Commercial Code
  • Virginia Civil and Criminal Procedure (including appellate practice)
  • Wills and Estate Administration

BAR EXAM DATES

The Virginia Bar Exam is administered on the last Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July.

2014 Winter:  February 25 and 26

2014 Summer: July 29 and 30


FILING FEES AND DEADLINES

The application forms should be downloaded from the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners web site. Applications must be received in the Office of the Secretary on or before December 15th for the February exam and on or before May 10th for the July exam. No late applications accepted.

Character & Fitness Certification fees (subject to change): $400 for students currently enrolled in a JD program. For recent graduates who received their JD less than one year prior to the filing deadline and who have not been admitted to practice law in any jurisdiction at the time of filing your questionnaire, $425 for all other applicants. The exam fee is $375 and is payable by money order, cashier's check or certified check.


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

The MBE score (weighted 40%) and the essay score (weighted 60%) are combined to determine if applicant has achieved a passing score. Results are generally released in late April for February exam and mid to late October for July exam.


RECIPROCITY

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

Admission on Motion
May be admitted without exam from states admitting attorneys from Virginia without exam. Must have practice 5 of the last 7 years and be a graduate of an ABA accredited law school.
Visit www.vbbe.state.us for additional information.


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