MEE® Subjects & Topics
Know What is Important to Focus!

The Multistate Essay Exam (MEE®) is administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE®) to test a bar examinee’s ability to identify and analyze a legal issue raised in a hypothetical situation. The MEE consists of six separate essay questions. However, these essays have no set theme; they can be about any of a dozen possible subjects. What criteria will be used to determine which of these concepts will appear on the MEE?

While it's recommended that you prepare for every topic, it can prove essential to getting a sense of which essay topics are most frequently tested. Using this method, you may better prioritize your study time and devote more of it to the more vital areas.

MEE Subjects

Please see the list below to view the MEE subjects. Also, we will cover what each subject entails.

Business Associations

Business Associations covers two broad topics: Agency and Partnership and Corporations and Limited Liability Companies. This section mainly addresses your corporate law knowledge.

Civil Procedure

The topics covered in Civil Procedure are as follows:

  • Jurisdiction and venue
  • Law applied by federal courts
  • Pretrial procedures
  • Jury trials
  • Motions
  • Verdicts and judgments
  • Appealability and review

Obviously, Civil Procedure tests an examinees’ knowledge of civil law on several topics. It’s always a good idea to start your civ pro prep with the best practice questions. In addition to the topics listed above, you can also assume that the following elements are also applicable: the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (as currently in effect) and the sections of Title 28 of the US Code pertaining to trial and appellate jurisdiction, venue, and transfer.

Conflict of Laws

Conflict of law is not evaluated independently in the US. The NCBE has stated that it will no longer offer a separate exam on conflict of laws. It is now always paired with another legal topic. Civil procedure, family law, estate planning, and business and limited liability company law are common areas where the conflicts of rules of law are tested. Many conflicts of law questions on bar exams vary from previously asked questions.

Knowing the answers to these frequently asked questions can help you get the best possible grade. Here are the main topics covered in conflict of laws:

  • Domicile
  • Jurisdiction of courts
  • Choice of law
  • Recognition and enforcement of other states' judgments and foreign judgments

Constitutional Law

The MEE frequently includes questions about constitutional law. On average, it is tested every year or year and a half. It has come back and is tested at the same frequency as other Multistate Bar Exam (MBE®) subjects on the MEE. The focus of constitutional law questions has switched from the First Amendment and individual rights to the separation of powers in recent years.

Contracts and Sales

On average, there are two questions every year about contracts and sales. While Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code's (UCC) sale of goods provision has not been on the bar exam as often as common law principles, it has appeared on the exam in recent years. Thus, either subject (or both subjects) may be used on the MEE.

Contracts and sales MEE questions are very similar because examiners are testing for the same core concepts. The topics covered in contracts and sales include:

  • Formation of contracts
  • Defenses to enforceability
  • Contract content and meaning
  • Performance, breach, and discharge
  • Remedies
  • Third-party rights
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Criminal Law and Procedure

Criminal Law and Procedure focuses on the defense and prosecution of individuals and corporate executives accused of committing criminal charges. Arrest, arraignment, bail, trials, sentencing, and appeals are also covered. About half of the questions in this section will focus on the constitutional rights of those accused of a crime. In contrast, the other half will cover a wide range of topics, including murder, theft, robbery, burglary, arson, kidnapping, and inchoate crimes/parties, as well as more abstract concepts like mental capacity, legal responsibility, and the scope of a court's authority.

Evidence

In both civil and criminal proceedings, knowledge of the rules and principles governing the admission or exclusion of evidence is essential. Ensure you answer these questions per the Federal Rules of Evidence and not your jurisdiction's rules of evidence. Overall, the presentation of evidence (objections, impeachment, etc.), hearsay, and relevancy make up over 80% of this issue. Therefore, you should focus on these three areas.

Family Law

Family Law is tested approximately once a year. In most situations, family law is tested independently. However, a Conflict of Laws problem does arise on occasion. As with other MEE question types, examiners in the Family Law MEE tend to focus on testing a few key concepts repeatedly. There are frequent questions about child custody and support on the MEE. Several specific areas have been tried and true, and they are as follows:

Relationship between child support and custody

  • Custody: the best interests of the child are the determining factor in custody decisions.
  • When determining child support, all states use numerical standards and create a rebuttable. presumption that the award resulting from using the rules is appropriate.
  • The parents' marital status is irrelevant.
  • The court will consider the parent's earning potential, the age and number of the children, and any unique requirements they may have.
  • If there has been a significant change in circumstances, the custody or support terms may be amended.

Real Property

Land and all tangible improvements to it are the primary focus of real property law. You can expect a question about ownership, rights, contracts, mortgage/security devices, and titles on the MEE. Here are the most tested topics on Real Property:

  • Deeds
  • Recording acts
  • Landlord-tenant law

Torts

People who have been wronged in some way, whether physically or financially, can often find recourse under tort law. Intentional torts, strict responsibility, products liability, and other torts will make up the other half of the questions in this section (nuisance, defamation, invasion of privacy, etc). In this field of law, the NCBE advises you to assume the following:

  • Survival actions and wrongful death claims are available where appropriate; and
  • The standards for pure comparative blame and joint and several liability apply, unless otherwise stated.
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  • The standards for pure comparative blame and joint and several liability apply, unless otherwise stated.

Trusts and Estates

The MEE will test your knowledge of trusts and estates either twice a year or once every two years. Unlike other subjects, trusts and estates are typically assessed independently. Here are topics covered in Trusts and Estates:

  • Decedents’ Estates
  • Wills
  • Family protection
  • Living wills and durable health care powers
  • Trusts and Future Interests

Article 9 (secured transactions) of the Uniform Commercial Code

This topic pertains to the portion of the Uniform Commercial Code that regulates security interests in personal property—accepted, with minor adjustments, on a state-by-state basis. One example is, "In the event of a debtor's failure to pay or satisfy its obligations, the credit manager is responsible for ensuring that all conditions of Article 9 are met and documented to secure a legal claim in the debtor's collateral. The credit manager is responsible for taking the following measures to ensure the newly created legal claim is given priority over any competing claims."

To understand these subjects better, refer to NCBE’s free MEE sample questions.

MEE Frequency Chart

The chart below lists the frequency at which MEE subjects have been tested from 2016 to 2022. There have been a total of 84 questions over 14 exam administrations. However, you will notice that the sum of the “frequency #” column exceeds 84 and the “frequency %” exceeds 100 because some subjects have been tested together. For example, Business Associations may be tested with Constitutional Law, or Trusts and Estates with Conflict of Laws

MEE Subjects Frequency # Frequency %
Business Associations 17 20%
Civil Procedure 10 12%
Conflict of Laws 4 5%
Constitutional Law 7 8%
Contracts and Sales 10 12%
Criminal Law and Procedure 9 11%
Evidence 8 9%
Family Law 7 8%
Real Property 8 10%
Torts 4 5%
Trusts and Estates 12 14%
Secured Transactions 8 10%

FAQs

Examinees routinely have trouble with Real Property because of the obscure and archaic terms combined with convoluted laws.

The most important topics on the MEE are Business Associations, Civil Procedure, and Trusts and Estates. These are, unsurprisingly, those that are tested most frequently. For example, Civil Procedure and Business Associations have each appeared on nearly every exam, while Torts and Conflict of Law have appeared infrequently.

The most frequently tested subjects on the MEE are, in order, Business Associations, Trusts and Estates, Civil Procedure, and Conflict of Laws.

Read More about the Bar Exam

What is the Multistate Essay Exam? What are the subjects covered in MEE? Discover the world of MEE here!

What is the minimum MEE score requirement in your state? How are the six essays in MEE scored? Learn more about the MEE here!

Looking to know what to expect on MPT? From registration, its difficulty, onboard jurisdictions, here’s all you’ll need to know.

Wondering what it takes to pass the MBE? Well, we’ve got you covered! Learn about the MBE, the registration process, and more here!

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