Tennessee Bar Exam Information

The next Tennessee Bar Exam is currently scheduled to take place on July 28-29, 2020, although the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) may postpone the exam due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regardless of whether the July exam goes ahead, the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners has decided to hold an additional bar exam on September 31-October 01, 2020, known as the October exam. Applicants may choose which exam they would prefer to attend.

Exam Dates:July 28-29, 2020* and September 31-October 01
Exam Type:Two-day Uniform Bar Exam with multiple choice and long-form questions
Location:Knoxville, TN
Application Fee:$375 / $575
On-Motion Application Fee:$1,100
Filing Deadline:May 01, 2020
Late Filing Deadline:May 20, 2020
Late Fee:$0

When is the 2020 Tennessee Bar Exam?

The Tennessee Bar Exam usually takes place on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. However, the COVID-19 crisis may postpone the July 29-29, 2020 exam.

Whether the July exam goes ahead or not, the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners will host an additional bar exam on September 31-October 1, 2020.

New applicants should apply through the July exam portal on the TBLE website, and at the end of the process, they may choose to sit either the July or October exam. If the July exam is canceled, applicants may transfer to either the October 2020 exam or the February 2021 exam.

See the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners website for updated information.

Where is the Tennessee Bar Exam Located?

The 2020 Tennessee Bar Exams will be held at the Exhibit Halls of the Knoxville Convention Center, located at 701 Henley St, Knoxville, TN 37902.

The Locust Street Garage at 540 Locust Street is the closest parking lot, although others are available within a 10-minute walk. See the Downtown Knoxville website for more information.

The Tennessean Hotel is the closest hotel to the convention center, and has rooms starting from $272. Numerous other accommodation options are available in the area.

How much does the Tennessee Bar Exam cost?

Both student and attorney applicants pay a first-time exam fee of $575 and a repeat exam fee of $375. The character report fee is not included and must be paid directly to the NCBE.

The 2020 July and October exams have identical deadlines.

The initial filing deadline for the July and October 2020 exam is May 1, 2020, and the final filing deadline is May 20, 2020. Any applications received between May 1 and May 20 will not incur additional fees. However, the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners will not notify applicants of an incomplete application received during this period.

Laptops may be used in the exam for a fee of $100 (optional).

Other fees may apply.

What subjects are tested on the Tennessee Bar Exam?

MBE Subjects:

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

Tennessee Essay Subjects:

  • Agency
  • Civil Procedure (State & Federal)
  • Commercial Paper & Bulk Transfers
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Corporations
  • Domestic Relations or Personal Status
  • Partnerships
  • Personal Property
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Restitution & Remedies
  • Sales
  • Secured Transactions
  • State Constitutional Law
  • Wills & 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 Tennessee Bar Exam like?

The Tennessee 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) questions
  • Afternoon: one hundred multiple-choice Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) questions

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

Tennessee requires a minimum scaled MPRE score of 82 to be obtained within two years of admission.

How is the Tennessee Bar Exam Graded?

The MEE and MPT essay scores are scaled to the MBE multiple-choice questions. The exam is weighted as follows:

  • MBE 50%
  • MPT 20%
  • MEE 30%

Scores from all sections are combined, and a grade of 270 or higher is required to pass the exam.

When are the Tennessee Bar scores released?

The results of the February exam are usually released in mid-April and the July exam in mid-October. Tennessee hasn’t yet disclosed when it intends to release the results of the October exam.

Can I transfer my MBE scores from another jurisdiction?

Tennessee will not accept MBE scores from any other jurisdictions or previous Tennessee exams.

What is the Tennessee Reciprocity Agreement like?

Tennessee will accept admission on motion if the applicant has actively practiced law in the jurisdiction of their license for five years, intends to practice law in Tennessee, and has graduated from an ABA-accredited law school.

How can I contact the Tennessee State Bar?

Tennessee Board of Law Examiners
706 Church Street, Suite 100
Nashville, TN 37243-0740
Telephone: (615) 741-3234
Website: https://www.tnble.org/

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