Ultimate Guide to Kentucky State Bar Exam

Your complete guide to Kentucky bar exam prep.

Pass Rates · Format · Essay Topics · Schedule · Dates · Location · Application Fees & Deadlines · What to Bring · Scores & Grading · Results · Reciprocity · Law Schools · Groups · Other Resources

*Updated June 2020

kentucky bar

Kentucky State Bar Exam | Basic Information

The Kentucky Bar Association was started in 1934 and is a mandatory bar.

Kentucky is not a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) state. Kentucky has its own bar exam that uses the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), the national multiple-choice test. Kentucky uses the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), the national essay exam. Kentucky also requires the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).

Kentucky State Bar Exam Pass Rates

February 2020 (unknown takers)

Overall Pass Rate: unknown
First-Time Pass Rate: unknown
Repeat Pass Rate: unknown

View detailed statistics

February 2019 (178 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 60%
First-Time Pass Rate: 75%
Repeat Pass Rate: 45%

July 2019 (357 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 66%
First-Time Pass Rate: 75%
Repeat Pass Rate: 36%

July 2018 (327 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 67%
First-Time Pass Rate: 77%
Repeat Pass Rate: 34%

Kentucky Bar Exam Format

What’s the format of the Kentucky Bar?

The Kentucky bar is administered twice each year in Kentucky (in February and July). The examination is administered over two days in four, three-hour sessions. The Kentucky bar has four parts: the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), and the Kentucky Essay Exam.

MBE

The MBE is a six-hour test and consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that test your understanding across seven subjects. You must score at least a 135 out of 200 on the MBE.

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MEE

The MEE consists of six 30-minute legal essays. Between the MEE and the Kentucky Essays sections, you must score at least 900 out of 1,200 possible points to pass.

MEE exam essay topics may include the following: Business Associations, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Family Law, Property, Secured Transactions, Torts, Trusts, Unincorporated Business Entities, Wills and Estates, etc.

Crushendo offers the most recent MEE questions and includes the point sheets that the graders used.

Examiners could replace three of the essays with one MPT question if they desire.

Kentucky Essay Exam

The Kentucky Essay Exam consists of six 30 minute legal essays. Between the MEE and the Kentucky Essays sections, you must score at least 900 out of 1,200 possible points to pass.

See previous Kentucky Essay Exam questions here.

What’s the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination?

The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) tests your understanding of established standards of conduct for lawyers. The MPRE is administered three times each year (in March, August, and November). The test consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and is two hours long. Check out this MPRE Tips video!

Upcoming Bar Exam Schedule, Dates, Location

Schedule

Morning Afternoon
Day 1 KY Essays (3 hours) MEE (3 hours)
Day 2 MBE (3 hours) MBE (3 hours)

Dates

  • July 28-29, 2020
  • February 23-24, 2021
  • July 27-28, 2021
  • February 22-23, 2022
  • July 26-27, 2022
  • February 21-22, 2023
  • July 25-26, 2023

Location

Kentucky Bar Exam Application

Are you interested in taking the Kentucky State bar exam? Here’s some basic information on applying to take the Kentucky bar exam.

The Kentucky Bar application fee for most takers is $875. The fee is $1,125 if you submit after the first deadline and $1,375 if you submit after the second deadline.

The application fee for attorneys is $1,200. The fee is $1,450 if you submit after the first deadline and $1,700 is you submit after the second deadline.

*Visit the Kentucky State Bar’s website for more information.

If you desire to take the bar exam in February, you should submit your application by October 1 to avoid late fees. If you file between October 2 and November 10, there is a $250 late fee. If you file between November 11 and December 10, there is a $500 late fee. December 10 is the final deadline.

If you desire to take the bar exam in July, you should submit your application by February 1 to avoid late fees. If you file between February 2 and March 10, there is a $250 late fee. If you file between March 11 and May 10, there is a $500 late fee. May 10 is the final deadline.

In addition to passing the Kentucky bar exam with an MBE score of at least 135 out of 200 and an essays score of 900 out of 1,200, there are several requirements that must be met in order to be admitted as an attorney in Kentucky, including:

  1. Score 80 or higher on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) within the accepted time frame.
  2. Certificate from Committee of Character and Fitness

More information here.

Kentucky State Bar Admissions Office

Physical address:

Kentucky Board of Bar Examiners
1510 Newtown Pike, Suite 156
Lexington, KY 40511
 

Phone number: (859) 246-2381

Email: info@kyoba.org

Fax: (859) 246-2385

Kentucky Bar Exam: What to Bring

What to bring

  • Your current driver’s license or picture ID
  • Jacket
  • Money
  • Keys

Important notes

  • You need to have these items with you for each of the four testing sessions.
  • Laptop testers should not bring their laptop in a case or bag.

Prohibited items

  • Any item that can connect to the internet
  • Any item that can record audio or video
  • Backpacks
  • Books
  • Briefcases
  • Calculators
  • Cameras
  • Notes
  • Phones
  • Food or drink
  • Purses
  • Radios
  • Rulers
  • Scratch papers
  • Study materials
  • Watches

Kentucky Bar Exam Scores and Grading

A passing score for the bar in Kentucky is 135/200 on the MBE and 900/1,200 on the essays section.

*A passing score for the MPRE in Kentucky is 80/150.

Kentucky Bar Exam Results

View recent bar pass lists:

Frequently Asked Questions

When are my Kentucky bar exam results released?

Kentucky bar exam results are usually posted nine weeks after the exam date.

Can I see my Kentucky bar exam score?

If you passed the Kentucky bar exam, you won’t be able to see your score. If you failed the exam, you will receive your written examination back.

Can I appeal to have my Kentucky bar exam re-graded?

No. If your essay score is close to passing, it will be automatically regraded. After scores have been released, there is no appeals process.

How many times can I take the bar exam in Kentucky?

You can take the Kentucky bar five times.

Kentucky Bar Exam Reciprocity

The following states and jurisdiction have reciprocity with Kentucky: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

You can be admitted if you meet the reciprocity requirements:

  • Be actively engaged in the practice of law for five of the last seven years

Law Schools in Kentucky

Here’s a list of law schools in Kentucky.

Salmon P. Chase College of Law (Northern Kentucky University)

Louis D. Brandeis School of Law (University of Louisville)

J. David Rosenburg College of Law (University of Kentucky)

  • Founded: 1908
  • Located: Lexington, KY
  • Enrollment: about 350
  • Tuition Cost: $50,352 View tuition breakdown
  • Bar Passage Rate: 74%
  • ABA Accredited: Yes
  • Website: law.uky.edu

Helpful Groups

Here are some Facebook groups you may find helpful before, and after, passing the bar exam:

Salmon P. Chase College of Law (Northern Kentucky University)

Louis D. Brandeis School of Law (University of Louisville)