Kentucky Bar Exam Information

The Kentucky Office of Bar Admission is responsible for administering the Kentucky State Bar Exam. The exam is a requirement for newly-graduated law school students wishing to practice law in Kentucky. In order to qualify for the exam, applicants must have earned a JD or equivalent degree at an ABA-approved law school.

Exam Dates:July 28th & 29th, 2020*
Exam Type:Two-day Exam
Location:Clarion Hotel, Lexington KY
Application Fee:$875
On-Motion Application Fee:$,1500
Filing Deadline:February 1st, 2020
Late Filing Deadline:May 10th, 2020
Late Fee:$250-$500

When is the 2020 Kentucky Bar Exam?

The Kentucky Bar Exam will take place on July 28th and 29th. Applicants will need to attend full-day testing sessions on both days. This year’s Kentucky Bar Exam is subject to delay as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The most current scheduling information can be found by visiting the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions online.

Kentucky has adopted the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) multiple-choice exam as well as the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions provided by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The essay portion of the Kentucky Bar Exam mixes the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) with a series of essay questions focused on Kentucky law.

Where is the Kentucky Bar Exam located?

The 2020 Kentucky Bar Exam will be held at the Clarion Hotel located at 1950 Newtown Pike in Lexington, Kentucky. Applicants coming in from out of town are encouraged to stay on site.

How much does the Kentucky Bar Exam cost?

The fee to sit for the Kentucky Bar Exam is $875 if the application is postmarked by February 1st, 2020. Late applications must be postmarked no later than May 10th, 2020 in order to be accepted. A late fee between $250 and $500 will apply. The fee for out-of-state lawyers petitioning for admission without examination is $1,500.

What subjects are tested on the Kentucky Bar Exam?

Subjects that are included on the Universal Bar Exam include business associations, family law, civil procedure, real property, torts, trusts and estates, conflict of laws, criminal procedure, criminal law, contract law, and constitutional law and evidence. Knowledge of instances where Kentucky law differs from general law is important for the state-specific essay questions.

What is the format of the Kentucky Bar Exam?

The Kentucky Bar Exam uses questions from all three sections of the Universal Bar Exam created by the National Conference of Bar Examiners—the Multistate Performance Test, the Multistate Essay Exam, and the Multistate Bar Exam. There is also an essay section of the exam with a focus on laws specific to Kentucky.

What is the minimum MPRE score needed to take the Kentucky Bar Exam?

Applicants must have achieved a scaled score of 80 or greater in order to qualify to take the Kentucky Bar Exam.

How is the Kentucky Bar Exam graded?

The Multistate Bar Exam answer sheets are sent to the National Conference of Bar Examiners to be graded by machine. Applicants can request hand-grading of their exam when applying for an additional $25 fee.

When are the Kentucky Bar scores released?

A list of applicants who have achieved a passing score will be published online approximately two months after the exam. More detailed results will follow shortly thereafter.

Can I transfer my MBE scores from another jurisdiction?

Applicants with a score higher than 132 on the MBE within the past 3 years may transfer their scores to the Kentucky Bar Exam. In this case, the applicant will only need to sit for the essay portion of the exam.

What is the Kentucky Reciprocity Agreement like?

Applicants who have actively practiced law for at least five of the last seven years in a qualifying jurisdiction can apply for Admission on Motion. The fee for applying in this manner $1,500.

How can I contact the Kentucky State Bar?

The phone number for the Kentucky State Bar Association is (502) 546-3795. You can also send them an email at, or via mail addressed to:

Kentucky Bar Association
514 Main Street
Frankfort, KY 40601

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