Illinois Bar Exam

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Illinois Board of Admissions To The Bar

625 South College Street
Springfield, IL 62704
Telephone: (217) 522-5917



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

2016 Winter:  February 23 and 24

2016 Summer: July 26 and 27


The Illinois Bar Exam is a 2-day exam.

Day 1: Three questions drafted by Illinois examiners (IEE), one 90-minute Multistate Performance Test (MPT) question, and six Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) questions.

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


MBE Subjects: 

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

MEE/Illinois Essay Subjects:

  • Administrative Law
  • Agency
  • Commercial Paper
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Corporations
  • Equity
  • Family Law
  • Federal Jurisdiction & Procedure
  • Federal Taxation
  • IL Civil Procedure
  • Partnerships
  • Personal Property
  • Sales
  • Secured Transactions
  • Suretyship
  • Trusts & Future Interests
  • Wills (Decedents’ Estates)
  • plus all MBE subjects

Multistate Performance Test: 

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

MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam)

A scaled score of 80 on an MPRE is required. The MPRE can be taken at any time. However, note that The Board of Bar Examiners must receive proof that applicant received a passing score before the applicant will be recommended for admission to the bar.


Effective immediately all applications must be filed electronically with the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar. Visit for more information.

Law student registration is recommended (not required) during first year.

Bar exam application must be filed by September 1 for the February exam and by February 15 for the July exam at a cost of $500. Late applications accepted with late fee until December 31 and May 31 respectively.


The essays are worth 40%, the MPT is worth 10% and the MBE is worth 50%. Illinois uses an integrated scoring system. You may achieve the minimum passing score of 266 by any combination of scaled MBE and written examination scores. February exam results are generally released six weeks after the exam. July exam results, 8-10 weeks after the exam.


Acceptance of MBE Score: Applicants may transfer previous MBE scaled score of at least 141 from another jurisdiction if from preceding two exams and applicant passed the bar exam in jurisdiction where MBE was taken.

Admission on Motion: Persons admitted to practice in a reciprocal jurisdiction that have been engaged in the active and continuous practice of law for at least five of seven years prior to making application and meet the additional requirements of Rule 705 may be admitted on motion. Graduates of foreign law schools should see Rule 715, and legal service lawyers seeking limited admission should see Rule 717 at

In-House Counsel
Persons who will be working for an Illinois business as in-house counsel must be licensed, but if such persons are already licensed in another jurisdiction, they may apply for a limited “House Counsel” license pursuant to Rule 716 and no exam is required.

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