Massachusetts Bar Exam Information

Unlike several states, the Massachusetts Bar Association does not oversee the licensing of attorneys. Instead, the responsibility to test and license new lawyers in the state of Massachusetts belongs to the State Board of Bar Examiners. The Board of Bar Examiners administers the bar exam to prospective new lawyers twice a year.

Exam Dates:September 30th & October 1st, 2020
Exam Type:2-day Universal Bar Exam
Location:Boston and Springfield, MA
Application Fee:$815
On-Motion Application Fee:$1,015
Filing Deadline:July 17th, 2020
Late Filing Deadline:N/A
Late Fee:N/A

When is the 2020 Massachusetts Bar Exam?

Originally scheduled for late July, the final Massachusetts Bar Examination of 2020 has been rescheduled to September 30th and October 1st due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants intending to attend this round of testing should be sure to closely monitor the Massachusetts Bar Association website for up-to-the-minute scheduling changes.

Massachusetts uses the Universal Bar Exam created by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The exam lasts for two full days and includes a multiple-choice exam, six essay questions, and two practical performance questions.

Where is the Massachusetts Bar Exam located?

There are two planned locations for the next Massachusetts Bar Exam testing date. For applicants in the eastern part of the state, the exam will be held at the Hynes Convention Center located at 900 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02115. Applicants in western Massachusetts have the option to attend the exam at the Western New England University School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, MA 01119.

How much does the Massachusetts Bar Exam cost?

The application fee for the Massachusetts Bar Exam is $815. Out-of-state lawyers petitioning for admission to the Massachusetts Bar Association without taking the exam must pay a total of $1,015 in fees.

What subjects are tested on the Massachusetts Bar Exam?

Some of the subjects tested on the Massachusetts Bar Exam are criminal procedures, business associations, constitutional law and evidence, trusts and estates, torts, criminal law, civil procedure, contract law, conflict of laws, family law, and real property.

What is the format of the Massachusetts Bar Exam?

The Massachusetts Bar Association uses the Universal Bar Exam format issued by the NCBE.

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

Applicants for the Massachusetts Bar Exam must receive a scaled score of 85 or higher on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) before being approved to sit for the exam.

How is the Massachusetts Bar Exam graded?

20% of the total exam score is determined by the Multistate Professional Test (MPT) questions. 30% is based on the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE). The remaining 50% of the final score is based on the 200-question multiple-choice test called the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE).

When are the Massachusetts Bar scores released?

A list of names of applicants who have passed the bar exam is published to Mass.gov within two months of the exam date.

Can I transfer my UBE scores from another jurisdiction?

Applicants who have taken the UBE within the past 36 and have achieved a score of 270 or higher are eligible to transfer their scores for admittance to the Massachusetts Bar Association.

What is the Massachusetts Reciprocity Agreement like?

Attorneys who have practiced or taught law in any US state for at least 5 of the previous 7 years are eligible to apply for admission to the Massachusetts Bar Association without having to sit for the bar exam.

How can I contact the Massachusetts State Bar?

The Massachusetts State Bar Association can be reached via this contact form or by telephone or mail address to the following:

MBA Boston office

20 West Street
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 338-0500

MBA Western Mass. office

1441 Main Street, Suite 925
Springfield, MA 01103
(413) 731-5134

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