North Dakota Bar Exam

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North Dakota Board of Law Examiners

State Board of Law Examiners
Judicial Wing, 1st Floor
600 East Boulevard Ave, Dept. 180
Bismark, ND 58505
(701) 328-4201



The North Dakota Bar Exam is a 2-day exam.

Day 1: Six-question Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) and two Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions.

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


MBE Subjects: 

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

Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) Subjects:

  • Agency
  • Commercial Paper
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Corporations
  • Family Law
  • Federal Civil Procedure
  • Partnerships
  • Sales
  • Secured Transactions
  • Trusts and 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.


The North Dakota 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


Applicant must complete a law student registration application prior to the bar exam application.

Law student registration application must be filed by October 1st of the student's second year of study or within 14 months after the student's first day of the first year of law school. Thereafter late fees will be assessed. Fees include the late law student registration filing fee, if applicable, and a background investigation fee.

Application for the February exam must be postmarked by December 1st prior to the February exam for which application is made to avoid late filing fees. Application postmarked by December 15th prior to the February exam for which application is made shall be permitted.

Application for the July exam must be postmarked by March 1st prior to the July exam for which application is made to avoid late filing fees. Applications postmarked later than 90 days prior to exam will not be accepted.

Exam fees include the $150 exam fee; a late exam filing fee, if applicable, and a background investigation fee.

* Information subject to change.


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.


MBE, MEE and MPT scores combined to determine if the applicant has achieved a passing score. The three tests are weighed as follows: MBE 50%, MPT 20%, and MEE 30%. An applicant must earn a final total scaled score of at least 260 to pass the examination. Results are generally released six weeks after the exam.


Admission on Motion: An applicant may be admitted without exam. Must be an ABA accredited law school graduate, a member of bar for 5 years preceding application, have practiced 4 of the last 5 years and have 45 hours CLE coursework in the last 3 years (3 of the 45 hours must be in the area of legal ethics).

Acceptance of MBE Score: An applicant may be admitted without exam based on the MBE scaled score of 150 or higher within two years, provided admitted in jurisdiction in which MBE was taken. Must be a graduate of an ABA accredited law school and have received a scaled score of 80 on the MPRE no more than 5 years from the date of application. These scores are under review and may change.

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