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Massachusetts Bar Exam Information

Get Detailed Information About The Massachusetts Bar Exam Including Schedules, Grading, Reciprocity, Fees, Common Questions & More.

To become a lawyer in Massachusetts, one must hold a degree from an accredited four-year university, make a passing score on the LSAT exam and complete an accredited law school program, and finally, complete the BAR exam with a UBE total of 270 or greater.

The Massachusetts Bar Exam uses the two-day Uniform Bar Exam(UBE), which is administered twice a year. The first day consists of the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) and the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE). Day 2 consists of the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). The MBE is objective in nature and tests various subjects such as Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, and much more.

The Massachusetts Bar Exam weights the day one portion of the test evenly with the second day. Both make up 50% of the overall grade. You need a 270 of 400 to pass in the state of Massachusetts, equating to a raw score of 135.

The best way to prepare for the BAR exam in Massachusetts is through studying material on the most common law subjects. For the Massachusetts Bar Exam specifically, the essay questions are likely to cover access to justice, federal rules of civil procedure, and other topics (see below).

The MBE questions include civil law, evidence, and more. Many find success through practice tests that closely resemble the content and test structure of the Maryland Bar Exam. You can find extremely helpful study material here at Test Max Prep.

The Massachusetts Bar Exam takes place twice a year, held at differing locations. You can contact the Massachusetts Board of Examiners for more information about application requirements, test day expectations, and dates.

2021 Filing Deadlines & Fees

When is the MA Bar Exam in 2021?

July 27-28, 2021 February 23-24, 2021
Application Deadline: May 14, 2021 Dec 6, 2021

How Much Does the MA Bar Exam Cost?

Regular Application fee: $815
Laptop Computer fee: $75

What Is the MA Bar Exam Schedule Like?

The Massachusetts Bar Exam is a 2-day exam administered twice a year.

Wed 100 MBE Questions (3 hours) 100 MBE Questions (3 hours)
Thurs 5 Essays on any subject (3 hours) 5 Essays on any subject (3 hours)

What Subjects Are Tested on the MA Bar Exam?

MBE Subjects

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law & Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Real Property
  • Torts

Essay Subjects

  • Access to Justice
  • Agency
  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Business Organizations
  • Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Contracts
  • Real Property (inc. Mortgages)
  • Criminal Law & Procedure
  • Torts
  • Descent & Distribution of Estates
  • Trusts
  • Domestic Relations
  • Unfair or Deceptive Practices (G.L c. 93A)
  • Evidence (including Federal Rules)
  • Uniform Commercial Code (Articles 1-9)
  • Federal Jurisdiction
  • Wills

MA Bar Exam Grading & Scoring Process

NCBE scores the MBE component of the exam. Massachusetts total scores are reported on a 400-point scale, and a passing score of 270 is required in Massachusetts.

  • MBE: 50%
  • ESSAYS: 50%

Massachusetts bar students are required to pass a conduct exam called the MPRE with a score of at least 85.


Results for the February exam are typically released in late April, and results for the July exam are typically released in late October.

MA Bar Exam Reciprocity

Massachusetts does not have reciprocity with any jurisdiction. Entering lawyers must be certified through Massachusetts' rules regarding lawyers educated and certified in different states.

Acceptance of MBE Score

Massachusetts does allow for the transfer of actual raw MBE score from another jurisdiction only if from a concurrent exam.

Admission on Motion

Massachusetts does allow for admission on motion; the fee is $1,150.

File Applications with:

Maura S. Doyle, Clerk

Supreme Judicial Court for The County of Suffolk

John Adams Courthouse, 1st floor

One Pemberton Square, Suite 1300

Boston, MA 02108-1707

How Do I Contact the MA Bar?

Phone: 617-482-4466

Fax: 617-542-5943

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