Ultimate Guide to Massachusetts Bar Exam

Your complete guide to Massachusetts bar exam prep.

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

*Updated August 2019

massachusetts bar exam

Massachusetts State Bar Exam | Basic Information

The Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA) was formed in 1911. The MBA is a voluntary organization. There are about 43,000 lawyers in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts is one of 30+ states that have adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) for their state bar review. Massachusetts first administered the UBE in July 2018.

Massachusetts Bar Exam Pass Rates

February 2019 (498 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 46.4%
First-Time Pass Rate: 67.8%
Repeat Pass Rate: 34.6%

July 2018 (1,426 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 69%
First-Time Pass Rate: 79%
Repeat Pass Rate: 21%

February 2018 (426 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 36%
First-Time Pass Rate: 53%
Repeat Pass Rate: 27%

July 2017 (1,278 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 71%
First-Time Pass Rate: 81%
Repeat Pass Rate: 31%

Massachusetts Bar Review Courses

Compare top Massachusetts bar exam prep courses from Crushendo, Barbri, Themis, Kaplan, AmeriBar, BarMax, AdaptiBar, and Quimbee.

CrushendoBarbriThemisKaplanAmeriBarBarMaxAdaptiBarQuimbee
Cost$240-790$2,495-4,095$1,595-2,695$2,299-3,999$895-2,545$699-1,499$395-1,065$499-1,499
MBE
MEE
MPT
MPRE
NCBE Questions2,000+100+Unknown1,200+1,400+1,905+1,700+200+
Audio Flashcards
250+ Mnemonics
Facebook Rating5/5Disabled4.8/5DisabledDisabled4.4/54.4/5Disabled
Access PeriodLifetime3 months4 months4 monthsUp to 3 yearsLifetime5-7 months3 years
Financing3 payments$250 registration
Founded20171974200819381999201020032007
Phone(385) 482-1776(888) 322-7274(888) 843-6476(626) 390-7170(877) 942-2763(800) 529-2651(877) 466-1250N/A

Crushendo’s written and audio outlines utilize 250+ proprietary mnemonics to help you memorize everything you need to know to pass the bar exam on your first try.

Crushendo’s UBE Suite costs $790 and includes 2,000+ official questions from the NCBE.

Crushendo offers lifetime access to its bar exam prep products.

Adam Balinski founded Crushendo Bar Review in 2017 (read the founding story here).

The Harcourt publishing company founded Barbri in 1974 when it acquired two bar review programs. Since its founding Barbri has been owned by large firms, including Thomson Reuters and Leeds Equity Partners.

Barbri products have been used by more than a million law school students. In the last 20 years Barbri has settled multiple antitrust lawsuits.

Barbri’s bar prep programs cost $2,495-4,095 and include 100+ official NCBE questions from past bar exams.

Barbri offers access to its online products for three months.

Themis Bar Review is based in Chicago and was founded in 2008.

Themis publishes is pass rates publicly on its website.

Themis bar prep programs cost $1,595-2,695 and include an unknown amount of NCBE questions.

Themis offers access to its online products for four months.

Stanley Kaplan founded Kaplan, Inc. in 1938.

Kaplan jumped into the bar review space in 2006 when it acquired PMBR, a company that provides test prep for the MBE. In 2008 Kaplan expanded it bar review offerings.

Kaplan’s bar prep programs cost $2,299-3,999 and include 1,200+ NCBE questions.

Kaplan offers access to its online products for four months.

Alexander Nakis founded AmeriBar in 1999. It’s headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida.

AmeriBar’s bar exam prep programs cost $895-2,545 and include 1,400+ NCBE questions.

AmeriBar offers access to its online products for up to three years.

Michael Ghaffary and Mehran Ebadolahi founded BarMax in 2010.

BarMax’s bar exam prep programs cost $699-1,499 and include 1,905+ NCBE questions.

BarMax offers lifetime access to its online products.

Tarek Fadel founded AdaptiBar in 2003.

AdaptiBar’s bar exam prep programs cost $395-1,065 and include up to 1,700+ NCBE questions.

AdaptiBar offers access to its online products for 5-7 months.

Matt Sellers founded Quimbee in 2007.

Quimbee’s bar prep programs cost $499-1,499 and include up to 200+ NCBE questions.

Quimbee offers access to its online products for 3 years.

Massachusetts State Bar Exam Format

What’s the format of the UBE?

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

MBE

The MBE is a six hour test and consists of 200 multiple choice questions that test your understanding across seven subjects. Your MBE score comprises 50% of your overall UBE score.

MEE

The MEE consists of six 30-minute legal essays. Your MEE score comprises 30% of your UBE score.

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

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

MPT

The MPT consists of two 90-minute tasks where you analyze and apply laws to specific scenarios. Your MPT score comprises 20% of your UBE score. Crushendo offers the most recent MPT questions and includes the point sheets that the graders used.

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, Locations

Schedule

MorningAfternoon
Day 1MPT (3 hours)MEE (3 hours)
Day 2MBE (3 hours)MBE (3 hours)

Dates

  • February 25-26, 2020
  • 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

Locations

Boston

Hynes Convention Center
900 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02115

Springfield

Western New England Law School
1215 Wilbraham Rd
Springfield, MA 01119

*Learn more about MA bar exam test sites.

Massachusetts Bar Exam Application

Are you interested in taking the Massachusetts bar exam? Here’s some basic information about applying to take the Massachusetts bar exam.

The application fee for Admission by Examination in Massachusetts is $815.

For those who wish to use a laptop to write their bar exam essays there is an additional fee of $75 paid to Massachusetts and $100 paid to ExamSoft. Fees remain the same for those applying to retake the Massachusetts bar examination.

The fee for applying for Admission by Motion is $1,015.

Total cost: $815-$1,015

*See Mass.gov for more information.

If you wish to take the July 2019 bar exam, you must submit your application by May 10, 2019. In general you should submit your application at least three months prior to the exam.

*There’s no limit on how many times you can take the Massachusetts bar exam.

In addition to passing the Massachusetts bar exam with a score of at least 270, there are several requirements that must be met in order to be admitted to the bar in Massachusetts, including:

  1. Have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree.
  2. Have a law degree from an approved law school.
  3. Score 85 or higher on the MPRE within the accepted time frame.
  4. Successfully complete the Massachusetts Law Component Examination.
  5. Submit documents listed on Mass.gov’s application guide (letters of recommendation, law school certificate, MPRE score report, etc.).

Massachusetts State Board of Law Examiners

Physical address:

Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners
Edward W. Brooke Courthouse
24 New Chardon St 1st floor
Boston, MA 02114

Phone number: (617) 482-4466

Mailing address:

Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners
Edward W. Brooke Courthouse
24 New Chardon St 1st floor
Boston, MA 02114

Email address: info@bbe.state.ma.us

Massachusetts Bar Exam: What to Bring

What to bring

  • Your official government issued photo ID.
  • Your seating assignment notice ticket (from sent email)
  • Your examinee agreement
  • #2 pencils (for Wednesday)
  • Blue or black pens (for Tuesday)
  • Laptop and power cord adapter (for Tuesday)

Important notes

  • About six weeks before the exam date you should receive an email from ExamSoft. You should register and download the software to your laptop. If you do not successfully register and download the software in the permitted time frame, you will not be able to use your laptop, and will instead have to write your essays in an issued exam booklet.

Permitted items

  • 1 clear, label-free, plastic water bottle (no larger than 1 liter)
  • A piece of clothing, if needed (ie. sweater)
  • 1 clear plastic bag of one gallon or less for personal items (lunch, medication, etc.)

Prohibited items

  • Electronic devices
  • Watches, timers
  • Bags, purses, backpacks, briefcases
  • Pencil sharpeners, pencil cases, mechanical pencils
  • Erasable, fountain, or felt pens
  • Highlighters
  • Scrap paper
  • Notes
  • Bar prep materials
  • Noisy shoes
  • Flip flops
  • Earplugs (these will be given to you at the testing center)
  • Hats, hoods, and outer clothing (except for religious or medical reasons)

*More information on what you can and cannot bring to the testing center.

Massachusetts Bar Exam Scores and Grading

A passing score for the UBE in Massachusetts is 270/400. Scores of the three tests comprising the UBE are weighted as follows:

  • MBE = 50% of your total UBE score
  • MEE = 30%
  • MPT = 20%

*A passing score for the MPRE in Massachusetts is 85/150.

Massachusetts Bar Review Course

Crushendo’s comprehensive UBE Suite comes with everything you need to crush the Massachusetts bar exam.

  • MBE, MEE, MPT, and MPRE Prep
  • 250+ Proprietary Mnemonics
  • 2,000+ Licensed NCBE Questions
  • Audio Flashcards
  • Lifetime Access
Learn More

Massachusetts Bar Exam Results

View the Massachusetts Bar Exam pass list.

Frequently Asked Questions

When are my Massachusetts bar exam results released?

February bar exam results are posted in April. July bar exam results are posted in October.

Can I see my Massachusetts bar exam score?

Yes. You will be notified by email when results are published. The email will include a breakdown of scores and your total UBE score.

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

No. If your total UBE score was 265 to 269 your essay answers will be re-graded by a different grader. Your two scores will be used to compute your final UBE score, which is the score you will be able to see.

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

There’s no limit to how many times you can take the bar exam in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Bar Exam Reciprocity

Applicants seeking admission to the bar in Massachusetts without taking the bar exam, must comply with Supreme Court Rule 3:01.

Reciprocity Requirements Overview

In order to be eligible for admission by motion in Massachusetts, you must:

  • Have practiced law for five of the seven years prior to your application. (see Section 6.1.1)
  • Have practiced law in such a way as to assure the Board of Bar Examiners of your good moral character and professional qualifications. (see Section 6.1.2)
  • Have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree. (see Section 6.1.4)
  • Have a law degree from an approved law school (approved by the ABA or a state statute). (see Section 6.1.4)
  • Have scored 85 or higher on the MPRE, or with a score that was satisfactory at the time of your admittance to your admitted jurisdiction. (see Section 6.1.5)
  • Certification showing you have successfully completed the Massachusetts Law Component Examination. (see Sections 6.1.6 and 6.3)
  • Comply with all requirements set forth in Supreme Court Rule 3:01, and pay the necessary fees.

Reciprocal Jurisdictions: Admission by motion in Massachusetts is not dependent on reciprocity with other jurisdictions.

*For more information, see the instructions on Mass.gov, Admission by Motion FAQs and Section 6 of Supreme Court Rule 3:01.

Law Schools in Massachusetts

Here’s a list of ABA Accredited law schools in Massachusetts.

Boston College Law School

  • Founded: 1929
  • Located: Newton, MA
  • Enrollment: About 800 students (2010)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$56,940
  • Bar Passage Rate: 90.5% (2017)
  • Website: bc.edu/..law

Boston University School of Law

  • Founded: 1872
  • Located: Boston, MA
  • Enrollment: About 820 students (2010)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$55,700
  • Bar Passage Rate: 87.4% (2017)
  • Website: bu.edu/law

Harvard Law School

  • Founded: 1817
  • Located: Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Enrollment: About 1,990 students (2017)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$65,875
  • Bar Passage Rate: 97% (2016)
  • Website: hls.harvard.edu

University of Massachusetts School of Law

  • Founded: 2010
  • Located: Dartmouth, MA
  • Enrollment: 93 students (Fall 2018 class)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$38,370
  • Bar Passage Rate: 92.6% (July 2018 first-time takers)
  • Website: umassd.edu/law

New England Law Boston

  • Founded: 1908
  • Located: Boston, MA
  • Enrollment: About 1,130 students (2010)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$50,888
  • Bar Passage Rate: 64.6% (2018)
  • Website: nesl.edu

Northeastern University School of Law

  • Founded: 1898
  • Located: Boston, MA
  • Enrollment: About 630 students (2010)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$52,800
  • Bar Passage Rate: 89% (2018 first-time takers)
  • Website: northeastern.edu/law

Suffolk University Law School

  • Founded: 1906
  • Located: Boston, MA
  • Enrollment: About 1,680 students (2010)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$49,410
  • Bar Passage Rate: 65.5% (July 2017 first-time takers)
  • Website: suffolk.edu/law

Western New England University School of Law

  • Founded: 1919
  • Located: Springfield, MA
  • Enrollment: About 390 students (2010)
  • Tuition Cost: ~$42,058
  • Bar Passage Rate: 79.2% (July 2017 first-time takers)
  • Website: wne.edu/law

Helpful Groups

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

Boston College Law School

Boston University School of Law

Harvard Law School

University of Massachusetts School of Law

New England Law Boston

Northeastern University School of Law

Suffolk University Law School

Western New England University School of Law