By Adam Balinski
Updated: June 10, 2023
In a recent announcement by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), significant changes were revealed regarding the subject matter tested on the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), the essay portion of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). The decision to revise the MEE topics comes after extensive input from jurisdictions and law schools, aimed at addressing concerns about preparing students for the upcoming transition to the NextGen bar exam. These changes, effective from the July 2026 bar exam onward, will impact the inclusion of specific areas of law in the MEE.
Details of announcement
Judy Gundersen, President and CEO of the NCBE, addressed the Bar Exam Preparation Services in a letter dated June 8, 2023. Gundersen’s letter informed recipients about the alterations made to the MEE subject matter. Starting from the July 2026 bar exam, the MEE will no longer include questions related to conflict of laws, family law, trusts and estates, and secured transactions. That means whether graduates are preparing for the UBE or for the soon-to-be-released NextGen bar exam, preppers will no longer need to memorize the law for those four subjects beginning in July 2026.
Rationale behind the changes
The decision to remove these topics from the MEE aims to facilitate students’ preparation for the bar exam, particularly during the transition period to the NextGen exam. By eliminating these specific subjects, candidates will have the flexibility to choose courses that align with their exam preparation, regardless of whether they are aware of which exam they will ultimately take. This adjustment seeks to alleviate concerns and allow students to focus on relevant content without the added burden of studying topics that will no longer be tested.
Impact on MEE subject matter outlines
Apart from the exclusion of conflict of laws, family law, trusts and estates, and secured transactions, the MEE subject matter outlines will remain unchanged. Students and educators can still refer to the existing outlines to understand the scope and content of the MEE. It is advisable to review these outlines to ensure comprehensive preparation for the bar exam (Crushendo closely tailors its outlines to them).
For further information on the MEE subject matter outlines, interested parties can visit the NCBE website. Similarly, the NextGen bar exam subject matter outlines can be found here.
The NCBE encourages individuals with questions or concerns to reach out for clarification. For inquiries regarding how this policy change will affect the MEE, individuals can contact MEE@ncbex.org. For questions related to the NextGen bar exam itself, email NextGenBarExam@ncbex.org.
The announcement by the NCBE regarding changes to the MEE topics for the July 2026 bar exam has significant implications for law students and educators alike. By eliminating certain subjects, the NCBE aims to streamline exam preparation during the transition period to the NextGen bar exam. Candidates are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the revised subject matter outlines and reach out to the NCBE with any questions or concerns they may have.