Ultimate Guide to Wisconsin State Bar Exam

Your complete guide to Wisconsin 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

*Updated June 2020

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Wisconsin State Bar Exam | Basic Information

The State Bar of Wisconsin was started in 1900. It includes more than 25,000 legal professionals.

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

Wisconsin State Bar Exam Pass Rates

February 2020 (unknown takers)

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

View detailed statistics

February 2019 (80 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 48%
First-Time Pass Rate: 51%
Repeat Pass Rate: 43%

July 2019 (121 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 64%
First-Time Pass Rate: 80%
Repeat Pass Rate: 19%

July 2018 (135 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 65%
First-Time Pass Rate: 69%
Repeat Pass Rate: 39%

Wisconsin Bar Exam Format

What’s the format of the Wisconsin Bar?

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

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.

26 MBE Bar Prep Tips (2020) | Crushendo Bar Review

Wisconsin MBE Review Course

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

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

Wisconsin Essays

The essay questions consist of several legal essays. These essays make up 50% of your score. The essays vary by exam, sometimes including MPT questions.

Essay topics include:

• Agency and Partnership
• Business Organizations (corporations, partnerships, associations, and sole proprietorships)
• Civil Procedure (pleading and practice, and jurisdiction of courts)
• Commercial Law (including sales, secured transactions, and negotiable instruments)
• Conflicts of Laws
• Constitutional Law (federal)
• Contracts
• Criminal Law & Procedure
• Evidence
• Family Law (domestic relations)
• Limited Liability Companies
• Professional Responsibility (ethics and legal responsibilities of the profession)
• Property (includes real estate)
• Taxation (federal)
• Torts
• Trusts & Estates

You can order past Wisconsin bar essays for a fee of $25.

Upcoming Bar Exam Schedule, Dates, Location

Schedule

Morning Afternoon
Day 1 Wisconsin Essays Wisconsin Essays
Day 2 MBE MBE

Dates

  • 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

Wisconsin Bar Exam Application

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

The Wisconsin Bar application fee for most takers is $450. There is a $200 late fee.

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

If you desire to take the bar exam in February, you should submit your application by December 1 to avoid late fees. If you file between December 2 and January 1, there is a $200 late fee. January 1 is the final deadline.

If you desire to take the bar exam in July, you should submit your application by May 1 to avoid late fees. If you file between May 2 and June 1, there is a $200 late fee. June 1 is the final deadline.

In addition to passing the Wisconsin bar exam with a score of at least 258, there are several requirements that must be met in order to be admitted as an attorney in Wisconsin, including:

  1. Certificate from Committee of Character and Fitness
  2. Be a graduate of an ABA approved law school

Wisconsin State Bar Admissions Office

Physical address:

Board Of Bar Examiners
110 East Main Street, Suite 715
P.O. Box 2748
Madison, WI 53701-2748

 

Phone number: (608) 266-9760

Wisconsin Bar Exam: What to Bring

Allowed Items

  • Wallet and keys
  • Photo ID
  • Pencil for MBE

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
  • Purses
  • Radios
  • Rulers
  • Scratch papers
  • Study materials

Find more information on allowed items here.

Wisconsin Bar Exam Scores and Grading

A passing score for the bar in Wisconsin is 258. Scores of the three tests comprising the bar are weighted as follows:

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

*MPRE is not required

Wisconsin Bar Exam Results

Frequently Asked Questions

When are my Wisconsin bar exam results released?

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

Can I see my Wisconsin bar exam score?

If you passed the exam, you can not see your score. You may be able to see your score if you failed.

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

No.

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

You can take the Wisconsin bar without limit.

Wisconsin Bar Exam Reciprocity

Wisconsin has reciprocity with all states and territories if reciprocity requirements are met:

  • Actively practice law for three of the last five years
  • Meet Character and Fitness requirements

Law Schools in Wisconsin

Here’s a list of law schools in Wisconsin.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School

  • Founded: 1868
  • Located: Madison, WI
  • Enrollment: about 650
  • Tuition Cost: $44,383 View tuition breakdown
  • Bar Passage Rate: 100%
  • ABA Accredited: Yes
  • Website: law.wisc.edu

Marquette University Law School