Ultimate Guide to Michigan State Bar Exam

Your complete guide to Michigan bar exam prep.

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

*Updated December 2021

michigan bar

Michigan State Bar Exam | Basic Information

The State Bar of Michigan was started in 1935.

Michigan is one of 40+ jurisdictions that have adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE). Michigan will first administer the UBE in February 2023; until then it will administer a state-specific exam, which includes the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), the uniform multiple-choice component. Michigan also requires the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).

Michigan State Bar Exam Pass Rates

February 2021 (312 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 48%
First-Time Pass Rate: 63%
Repeat Pass Rate: 34%

February 2020 (354 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 60%
First-Time Pass Rate: 69%
Repeat Pass Rate: 51%

July 2020 (723 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 70%
First-Time Pass Rate: 81%
Repeat Pass Rate: 41%

July 2019 (641 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 61%
First-Time Pass Rate: 71%
Repeat Pass Rate: 24%

Michigan Bar Review Courses

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

Crushendo Barbri Themis Kaplan AmeriBar BarMax
*Cost $890 $1,999-3,999 $2,595 $2,199-3,999 $1,295-2,295 $2,495
Facebook Rating 5.0 Disabled 4.8 Disabled Disabled 4.2
Google Rating 5.0 N/A 2.8 3.1 N/A N/A
MBE
MEE
MPT
NCBE Questions 2,200+ 100+ 1,350+ 1,200+ 1,400+ 1,995+
Audio Flashcards
250+ Mnemonics
Access Period Lifetime 8-10 weeks 4 months 4 months Up to 3 years Lifetime
Financing 3 payments $250 registration
Founded 2017 1974 2008 1938 1999 2010
Phone (385) 482-1776 (888) 322-7274 (888) 843-6476 (626) 390-7170 (877) 942-2763 (800) 529-2651

Last updated: 12/29/21

*Cost ignores promotions and live tutoring.

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 complete bar prep course, the UBE Suite, costs $890 and includes 2,200+ official practice questions from the NCBE.

Crushendo offers lifetime access for all of 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 traditional bar prep programs cost $1,999-3,999 and some include 100+ official NCBE questions from past bar exams.

Barbri offers access to its traditional, full-time bar prep course for 8-10 weeks, but early access can be purchased.

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

Themis’s bar prep program costs $2,595 and includes 1,350+ 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 its bar review offerings.

Kaplan’s bar prep programs cost $2,199-3,999 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 $1,295-2,295 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 prep course costs $2,495 and includes 1,995+ NCBE questions.

BarMax offers lifetime access to its online products.

Michigan Bar Exam Format

What’s the format of the Michigan Bar?

The Michigan bar is administered twice each year in Michigan (in February and July). The examination is administered over two days in four, three-hour sessions. The Michigan bar has two parts: the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) and 15 essay questions.

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 score.

Michigan MBE Prep Course

Crushendo’s comprehensive MBE Suite comes with everything you need to crush the MBE portion of the Michigan Bar Exam.

  • 1750+ Licensed NCBE MBE Practice Questions
  • Audio Flashcards
  • Lifetime Access

Essay Questions

There are 15 essay questions on the Michigan bar exam. You have six hours to complete these questions.

Michigan bar exam essay topics may include the following:

  • Real and Personal Property
  • Wills and Trusts
  • Contracts
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Corporations, Partnerships, and Agency
  • Evidence
  • Creditor’s Rights (including mortgages, garnishments, and attachments)
  • Practice and Procedure (including trial and appellate, state and federal)
  • Equity
  • Torts (including no-fault)
  • Uniform Commercial Code (the sales, negotiable instruments, and secured transactions articles)
  • Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Domestic Relations
  • Conflicts of Laws
  • Worker’s Compensation

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 Essays (3 hours) Essays (3 hours)
Day 2 MBE (3 hours) MBE (3 hours)

Dates

  • July 26-27, 2022
  • February 21-22, 2023
  • July 25-26, 2023

Location

Michigan Bar Exam Application

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

The Michigan Bar application fee for most takers is $400. There is a $100 late fee. There is a $375 investigation fee and a $175 late fee for the investigation.

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

If you desire to take the bar exam in February, applications open August 15. You should submit your application by November 1 to avoid late fees. If you file between November 2 and December 15, there is a $100 late fee.

If you desire to take the bar exam in July, applications open January 15. You should submit your application by March 1 to avoid late fees. If you file between March 2 and May 15, there is a $100 late fee.

In addition to passing the Michigan bar exam with a score of at least 135, there are several requirements that must be met in order to be admitted as an attorney in Michigan, including:

  1. Score 85 or higher on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) within the accepted time frame.
  2. Certificate from Committee of Character and Fitness

Michigan State Bar Admissions Office

Physical address:

Michigan Board of Bar Examiners
P.O. Box 30052
Lansing, MI 48909

 

Phone: 517-373-4453
Fax: 517-373-5038
Email: BLE-info@courts.mi.gov

Michigan Bar Exam: What to Bring

Allowed Items

  • Admission Certificate
  • Government-issued photo I.D.
  • Wallet
  • Keys
  • Earplugs (not the big earphone/headphone type)
  • Pens, pencils, and erasers
  • Medication and medical items
  • Facial tissue
  • One clear plastic bottle of water per exam session, the contents must also be clear

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

Michigan Bar Exam Scores and Grading

A passing score for the bar in Michigan is 135. Scores of the three tests comprising the bar are weighted as follows:

  • MBE = 50% of your total score
  • Michigan Essays = 50% of your total score

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

Michigan Bar Exam Results

View pass lists for Michigan:

Frequently Asked Questions

When are my Michigan bar exam results released?

Michigan bar exam results are usually posted six to nine weeks after the exam date.

Can I see my Michigan bar exam score?

If you passed the Michigan 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 Michigan bar exam re-graded?

Yes. You can appeal 20 days after receiving your results. You must appeal specific essays or briefs, and often licensed attorneys help test takers appeal their bar.

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

You can take the Michigan bar without limit.

Michigan Bar Exam Reciprocity

Michigan has reciprocity with all other states and territories in the US. Attorneys applying to the Michigan bar must meet the following reciprocity requirements:

  • Actively practice law for three of the last five years
  • Certificate of Good Character and Fitness

Law Schools in Michigan

Here’s a list of law schools in Michigan.

Wayne State University Law School

University of Michigan Law School

  • Founded: 1859
  • Located: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Enrollment: about 1,025
  • Tuition Cost: $32,263 View tuition breakdown
  • Bar Passage Rate: 94%
  • ABA Accredited: Yes
  • Website: law.umich.edu

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

Michigan State University College of Law

  • Founded: 1891
  • Located: East Lansing, MI
  • Enrollment: about 700
  • Tuition Cost: $45,638 View tuition breakdown
  • Bar Passage Rate: 77%
  • ABA Accredited: Yes
  • Website: law.msu.edu

Thomas M. Cooley College of Law

  • Founded: 1972
  • Located: Lansing, MI
  • Enrollment: about 1,150
  • Tuition Cost: $22,800 View tuition breakdown
  • Bar Passage Rate: 36%
  • ABA Accredited: Yes
  • Website: cooley.edu

Helpful Groups

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

Wayne State University School of Law

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

Michigan State University College of Law

Thomas M. Cooley College of Law