North Dakota Bar Exam Information

The North Dakota Bar Exam is currently scheduled to take place on July 28-29, 2020, although these dates may be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seating spaces are limited, so applicants are being considered on a priority basis.

The two-day exam follows the UBE format and includes essays and multiple-choice questions. The exam is comprised of three components: a Multistate Performance Test (MPT), a Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), and a Multistate Bar Exam (MBE).

Exam Dates:July 28-29, 2020*
If the July exam cannot take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be postponed until September 09-10, 2020
Exam Type:Two-day UBE with multiple choice and long-form questions
Location:Bismarck, ND
Application Fee:$155 to $550 plus a character reference fee of $355 to $500
On-Motion Application Fee:$400
Filing Deadline:April 1, 2020
Late Filing Deadline:April 15, 2020 / May 15, 2020
Late Fee:$100 / $150

When is the 2020 North Dakota Bar Exam?

The North Dakota Bar Exam usually takes place on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July, with the next exam scheduled for July 28-29, 2020.

However, the current COVID-19 crisis may postpone the exam, in which case it will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, September 9-10, 2020. See the North Dakota State Board of Law Examiners’ website for updated information.

The July 2020 exam will be limited to 85 applicants, and priority will be given as follows: 1) applicants who applied before April 1, 2020; 2) applicants who are University of North Dakota graduates; and 3) all other applicants.

Where is the North Dakota Bar Exam Located?

The July 2020 North Dakota Bar Exam will be held at the Bismarck Event Center, located at 315 S 5th St, Bismarck, ND 58504.

Multiple public parking lots are available in the vicinity. The Bismarck Event Center has published a useful parking map and hotel guide.

How much does the North Dakota Bar Exam cost?

The cost of the North Dakota Bar Exam varies from $155 to $550, depending on the status of the applicant.

A late fee of $100 applies to applications lodged between April 1 and April 15, 2020, and $150 between April 15 and May 15, 2020.

Applicants must pay a character and fitness investigation fee between $355 and $500 directly to the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Laptops may be used for an Examsoft license fee of $110.

Detailed information can be found on the Fees Section of the North Dakota State Board of Law Examiners website.

What subjects are tested on the North Dakota Bar 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.

What is the format of the North Dakota Bar Exam like?

The North Dakota Bar Exam follows a two-day UBE format:

Day 1:

  • Morning: six 30-minute Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) questions
  • Afternoon: two 90-minute Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions

Day 2:

  • Morning: one hundred multiple-choice Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)
  • Afternoon: one hundred multiple-choice Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)

What is the minimum MPRE score needed to take the North Dakota Bar exam?

North Dakota requires a minimum scaled MPRE score of 85 to be obtained within five years of admission.

How is the North Dakota Bar Exam Graded?

The MEE and MPT essay scores are scaled to the MBE multiple-choice questions with the following weighting:

  • MBE 50%
  • MPT 20%
  • MEE 30%

Scores from all sections are combined, and a grade of 260 or higher is required to pass the exam.

When are the North Dakota Bar scores released?

Results of the North Dakota Bar Exam are usually released six weeks after the exam.

Can I transfer my MBE scores from another jurisdiction?

North Dakota will admit applicants without an exam who achieved a scaled MBE score of 150 or higher from a different jurisdiction.

The applicant must have sat the MBE within 2 years and have been admitted into that jurisdiction. The applicant must also 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.

What is the North Dakota Reciprocity Agreement like?

North Dakota accepts admission on motion if the applicant is/has:

  • An ABA-accredited law school graduate
  • A member of a bar for 5 years preceding the application
  • A practicing attorney for 4 of the last 5 years
  • completed 45 hours of CLE coursework in the last 3 years (at least 3 hours of which must be in legal ethics).

How can I contact the North Dakota State Bar?

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
Website: www.ndcourts.gov

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