Wisconsin Bar Exam Information

The next Wisconsin Bar Exam is currently scheduled to take place on July 28-29, 2020, although it may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The two-day exam follows the Universal Bar Exam (UBE) format and includes essays and multiple-choice questions.

Exam Dates:July 28-29, 2020
Exam Type:Two-day UBE with multiple choice and long-form questions
Location:TBD
Application Fee:$450
On-Motion Application Fee:$850
Filing Deadline:May 1, 2020
Late Filing Deadline:June 1, 2020
Late Fee:$200

When is the 2020 Wisconsin Bar Exam?

The Wisconsin Bar Exam takes place on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July.

The July 28-29, 2020, exam is currently planned to occur as scheduled despite the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this may change, so see the State Bar of Wisconsin website for updated information.

Where is the Wisconsin Bar Exam Located?

The venue of the July 2020 Wisconsin Bar Exam is yet to be determined. See the State Bar of Wisconsin website for updated information.

How much does the Wisconsin Bar Exam cost?

Both student and attorney applicants pay a fee of $450, whether they are first-time or repeat applicants. Attorneys transferring from a reciprocal state pay an admission on motion fee of $850.

The timely deadline is December 1 (the year prior) for the February exam and May 1 for the July exam. The final filing deadline, which attracts a $300 late filing fee, is January 1 for the February exam and June 1 for the July exam.

Laptops can be used in the exam for a fee of $110.

An NCBE character report and other administrative fees may apply. Veterans may apply for a fee waiver in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin accepts applications made by mail or online. The Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners provides detailed information on how to apply.

What subjects are tested on the Wisconsin Bar 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.

What is the format of the Wisconsin Bar Exam like?

The Wisconsin 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 1 may also involve additional questions prepared by the Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners.

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 Wisconsin Bar exam?

Wisconsin does not currently require the MPRE for admission.

How is the Wisconsin Bar Exam Graded?

The MEE, MPT, and Wisconsin Bar Examination Essay (WBBE) scores are scaled to the MBE multiple-choice questions. The exam is weighted as follows:

  • MBE 50%
  • MPT/MEE/WBBE 50%

Scores from all sections are combined, and a grade of 258 or higher is required to pass the exam.

When are the Wisconsin Bar scores released?

The results of the Wisconsin Bar Exam are usually released five weeks after the exam.

Can I transfer my MBE scores from another jurisdiction?

Wisconsin allows the applicant to transfer a scaled MBE score of 135 or higher from a successful examination taken within 37 months of the application. In this case, the applicant will only be required to sit for the written portions of the exam.

What is the Wisconsin Reciprocity Agreement like?

An applicant from a reciprocal state may be admitted on motion without sitting the exam. The applicant must also satisfy the originating jurisdiction’s requirements for admission on motion.

How can I contact the Wisconsin State Bar?

Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners

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

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