Wisconsin Bar Exam

Select Bar Exam State:

Wisconsin Board of Law Examiners

110 East Main Street
Suite 715
P.O. Box 2748
Madison, WI 53701-2748
Tel. 608-266-9760

Website: www.wicourts.gov


The Wisconsin Bar Exam is a 2-day exam.

There is a mandatory exam registration on the Monday immediately preceding Day 1 of the exam between 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Day 1: Typically, a combination of one (1) 90 minute multistate performance test (mpt) problem and six (6) essay questions. This can change at the discretion of the Board of Bar Examiners.

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

Wisconsin Essay Subjects:

  • Business Organizations (corporations, partnerships, associations, sole proprietorships)
  • Civil Procedure (pleadings and practice, jurisdiction of courts)
  • Commercial Law (sales and secured transactions and negotiable instruments)
  • Constitutional Law (federal)
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Property (includes Real Estate)
  • Torts
  • Taxation (federal)
  • Trusts & Estates
  • Family Law (Domestic Relations)

Multistate Performance Test: 

“Closed universe” practical problem using instructions, factual data, cases, statutes and other reference material supplied by examiners.


The Wisconsin 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


Application, authorization and release form must be filed by an initial deadline of December 1st for the February exam, and by May 1st for the July exam. If all three items are not received by this date, an additional $200 late fee is assessed. A Final Deadline of January 3rd and June 1st, respectively, requires a $650 fee.

Application packet fee: $10
Exam fee: $450
Admission on motion: $850


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.


A combined scaled score of 258 is required to pass. The scaled score may be achieved through any combination of scores on either portion of the exam (e.g., 120 scaled essay score + 138 scaled MBE score = 258). Results are generally released five (5) weeks after the exam is given.


Admission on Motion: An applicant may be admitted on motion without exam from states that admit Wisconsin practicing attorneys without exam. Applicant must also satisfy originating jurisdiction's requirements for admission on motion.

Acceptance of MBE Score: Applicant may transfer MBE scaled score of 135 or higher achieved on an exam taken within 37 months of the present exam and part of a successful exam. Applicant will only be required to sit for the written portions of the exam.

MPRE: Currently, the MPRE is not required in Wisconsin.

Miscellaneous: Applicant may take exam prior to graduation if degree is received within 60 days after exam.

Select Bar Exam State: