Ultimate Guide to Virginia State Bar Exam

virginia bar

Virginia State Bar Exam | Basic Information

The Virginia Bar Association was founded in 1888. This voluntary organization has about 4,700 members.

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

Virginia Bar Exam Pass Rates

February 2020 (unknown takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 58%
First-Time Pass Rate: 64%
Repeat Pass Rate: unknown

February 2019 (273 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 48%
First-Time Pass Rate: 69%
Repeat Pass Rate: 57%

July 2019 (637 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 75%
First-Time Pass Rate: 80%
Repeat Pass Rate: 37%

July 2018 (767 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 73%
First-Time Pass Rate: 80%
Repeat Pass Rate: 36%

Virginia State Bar Exam Format

What’s the format of the Virginia Bar?

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

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 40% of your overall score.

Crushendo offers affordable, comprehensive written and audio outlines for MBE subjects.

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Virginia Essay Exam

The Virginia essay exam consists of 20 short-answer or multiple-choice questions and nine essay questions. Your Virginia essay exam score comprises 60% of your total bar score.

Virginia bar exam essay topics include the MBE topics, which are 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, and Wills and Estates.

Additionally, the Virginia bar requires you to be prepared to answer questions about the following topics: Agency, Commercial Paper, Corporations, Creditors’ Rights, Domestic Relations, Equity, Federal Jurisdiction, Local Government Law, Partnerships, Personal Property, Professional Responsibility, Suretyship, Taxation, and VA Practice & Procedure.

Learn more about the Virginia bar format. See Virginia example answers here.

Crushendo offers the most recent MEE questions to help you study for the Virginia bar, although you will need to study other Virginia-specific topics as well.

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

  • 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

Virginia Bar Exam Application

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

The Virginia State Bar application fee for most takers is $575.

*Visit the Virginia Bar Examiner’s website for more information.

If you desire to take the bar exam in February, you should submit your bar exam application by December 15. If you want to take the July bar exam, you should submit your bar exam application by May 10.

In addition to passing the Virginia bar exam with a score of at least 140, there are several requirements that must be met in order to be admitted as an attorney in Virginia, including:

  1. Score 85 or higher on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) within the accepted time frame.
  2. Committee on Character & Fitness certification.

Virginia State Bar Admissions Office

Phone Number

Main number: (804) 367-0412

Mailing address:

Virginia Board of Bar Examiners
2201 West Broad Street
Suite 101
Richmond, VA 23220

Virginia Bar Exam: What to Bring

What to bring

  • Photo ID
  • Blue or black pens
  • 1 set of unpackaged foam ear plugs
  • 1 package of tissues
  • 1 car key or fob
  • 1 hotel room key
  • Eyeglasses without case
  • Cash/Credit card
  • 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

Review allowed bar exam items here.

Virginia Bar Exam Scores and Grading

A passing score for the Virginia bar is 140/200. Scores of the two tests comprising the bar are weighted as follows:

  • MBE = 40% of your total score
  • Virginia Essays = 60% of your total score

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

Virginia Bar Exam Results

View Virginia bar exam pass lists, as posted on the Virginia Bar website:

Frequently Asked Questions

When are my Virginia bar exam results released?

The Virginia bar releases results six to ten weeks after the exam.

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

No.

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

You can take the Virginia bar five times without special permission.

Virginia Bar Exam Reciprocity

Applicants seeking admission to the Virginia State Bar, without taking the bar exam, must comply with reciprocity requirements to qualify.

The following states have reciprocity with Virginia: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virgin Islands, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Reciprocity Requirements Overview

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

  • Have practiced law for three of the last five years prior to your application
  • Have certification from the Committee on Character and Fitness
  • Have graduated from an ABA-approved law school

Law Schools in Virginia

Here’s a list of law schools in Virginia.

Appalachian School of Law

  • Founded: 1994
  • Located: Grundy, VA
  • Enrollment: 132
  • Tuition Cost: $35,000 View tuition breakdown
  • Bar Passage Rate: 33%
  • ABA Accredited: Yes
  • Website: asl.edu

William and Mary Law School

  • Founded: 1779
  • Located: Williamsburg, VA
  • Enrollment: 645
  • Tuition Cost: $44,000 View tuition breakdown
  • Bar Passage Rate: 92.55% in July 2018
  • ABA Accredited: Yes
  • Website: law.wm.edu

George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

Liberty University School of Law

Regent University School of Law

  • Founded: 1986
  • Located: Virginia Beach, VA
  • Enrollment: about 300
  • Tuition Cost: $34,890
  • Bar Passage Rate: 81.82% 2018
  • ABA Accredited: Yes
  • Website: regent.edu/school-of-law/

University of Richmond School of Law

University of Virginia School of Law

Washington and Lee University School of Law

  • Founded: 1866
  • Located: Lexington, VA
  • Enrollment: about 400
  • Tuition Cost: $50,390 View tuition breakdown
  • Bar Passage Rate: 86%
  • ABA Accredited: Yes
  • Website: law.wlu.edu

Other Resources

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