Ultimate Guide to District of Columbia Bar Exam

Your complete guide to the Washington, DC Bar Exam.

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

*Updated November 2019

dc bar

District of Columbia State Bar Exam | Basic Information

The District of Columbia State Bar was formed in 1972. There are over 100,000 members who are located throughout the United States and around the world.

The District of Columbia is one of 30+ jurisdictions that have adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE). The District of Columbia first administered the UBE in July 2016.

Washington, DC Bar Exam Pass Rates

February 2019 (785 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 49%
First-Time Pass Rate: unknown
Repeat Pass Rate: unknown

February 2018 (623 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 47%
First-Time Pass Rate: 50%
Repeat Pass Rate: 38%

July 2019 (1,799 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 69%
First-Time Pass Rate: unknown
Repeat Pass Rate: unknown

July 2018 (1,702 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 67%
First-Time Pass Rate: 72%
Repeat Pass Rate: 37%

District of Columbia Bar Review Courses

Compare top DC 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 cts 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.

Washington, DC Bar Exam Format

What’s the format of the UBE?

The UBE is administered twice each year in Washington, DC (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.

District of Columbia 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, 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.

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, Location

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

Location

DC Bar Exam Application

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

The District of Columbia Bar application fee for most takers is $224, which includes a $110 application fee and a $114 UBE examination fee.  The application cost for UBE score transfer applicants and out-of-state lawyers applying for admission into the DC Bar is $400.

There are credit card processing fees and a $200 late fee. There are also fees to use your laptop during the test. You can pay to take just one portion of the test.

An additional fee of $250 may be required of any applicant who has not already registered as a law school student with the District of Columbia State Bar.

*Visit the DC Bar Admission Office’s website for more information.

If you desire to take the bar exam in February, the application opens in November. The filing deadline is on December 15. If you want to take the July bar exam, the application opens in April. The filing deadline is on May 3. You must go to the Committee on Admissions website and make an account to complete the application.

In addition to passing the District of Columbia bar exam with a score of at least 260, there are several requirements that must be met in order to be admitted as an attorney in Washington DC, including:

  1. Score 75 or higher on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) within the accepted time frame.
  2. Committee on Character & Fitness certification.

District of Columbia State Bar Admissions Office

Physical address:

DC Bar

901 4th St NW

Washington, DC 20001

Phone number: (202) 737-4700

DC Bar Exam: What to Bring

What to bring

  • Your current driver’s license.
  • Your Bar Examination Identification & Certification Card that has your photo, NCBE number, and examinee number.

Important notes

  • You need to have these items with you for each of the four testing sessions.
  • Pens and pencils are provided to examinees.
  • 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

District of Columbia Bar Exam Scores and Grading

A passing score for the UBE in the District of Columbia is 260/400. 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 District of Columbia is 75/150.

District of Columbia Bar Review Course

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

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

District of Columbia Bar Exam Results

View lists of those who passed the District of Columbia State Bar Exam, posted on the District of Columbia State Bar Association’s website:

Frequently Asked Questions

When are my District of Columbia bar exam results released?

District of Columbia bar exam results are usually posted 9-10 weeks after the exam date. February bar exam results are usually posted in May. July bar exam results are usually posted late October.

Can I see my District of Columbia bar exam score?

If you passed the District of Columbia bar exam, you won’t be able to see your score.

If you failed the District of Columbia bar exam, you’ll be able to see your scaled scores on the MBE, MEE, MPT, and UBE. Those who fail the District of Columbia bar exam will also have the opportunity to review their essay answers and view three top essay answers for each question.

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

No.

How many times can I take the bar exam in Washington, DC?

You can retake the UBE 4 times in the District of Columbia.

Washington, DC Bar Exam Reciprocity

Applicants seeking admission to the District of Columbia State Bar without taking the bar exam, must comply with Reciprocity Requirements.

In order to be eligible for admittance to the DC State Bar, without taking the bar examination, you must:

  • Be admitted to practice law in another U.S. state or territory for five years just before applying
  • Hold a legal degree from an ABA accredited law school

All UBE states have reciprocity with the District of Columbia if the scores are high enough to meet the standard in Washington, DC.

Law Schools in Washington, DC

Here’s a list of law schools in Washington, DC.

George Washington University Law

  • Founded: 1865
  • Located: Washington, DC
  • Enrollment: About 1,500 students
  • Tuition Cost: $63,205  View tuition breakdown
  • Bar Passage Rate: 95.8% (takers of DC bar)
  • ABA Accredited: Yes
  • Website: law.gwu.edu

American University Washington College of Law

UDC David A. Clarke School of Law

Howard University School of Law

Columbus School of Law

  • Founded: 1897
  • Located: Washington, DC
  • Enrollment: about 519 students
  • Tuition Cost: $52,660 View tuition breakdown
  • Bar Passage Rate: 85.1%
  • ABA Accredited: Yes
  • Website: law.edu

Other Resources

Ultimate Law School Blog