Tennessee Bar Exam

Select Bar Exam State:

Tennessee Board of Law Examiners

706 Church Street, Suite 100
Nashville, TN 37243-0740

Telephone: (615) 741-3234

Website: www.state.tn.us/lawexaminers


The Tennessee Bar Exam is a 2 day exam.

Day 1: 1 Multistate Performance Test (MPT) and 9 state essay 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

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.


The Tennessee 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


Exam fee: $450 plus current fees charged by the National Conference of Bar Examiners for character and fitness application.
Re-take fee: $300

Notice of intent to take the exam must be filed by October 1st for the February exam and by March 1st for the July exam. Application for the exam mst be filed by November 15th for the February exam and by April 15th for the July exam.


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.


The overall total score will be the sum of the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) scaled score and the total scaled essay score. All essay scores will be scaled to the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). A combined total of 270 points will be needed to pass. Results are generally released in mid-April for the February exam and mid-October for the July exam.


Admission on Motion: May be admitted from other states after having actively practiced in the jurisdiction in which previously licensed for five years. Must have a present intent to actively practice law in Tennessee and be a graduate of an ABA accredited law school.

Acceptance of MBE Score: Tennessee will not accept MBE scores from any other jurisdictions.

Select Bar Exam State: