The Alaska Bar Exam
Structure, Topics, Dates, Cost, Scores, and Eligibility
Since July 2014, the Alaska Bar Exam has been using the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE®) format, which divides the exam into three components: the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE®), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT®) and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE®).
Candidates who intend to practice law in different states will benefit from the increased score portability among the 41 participating UBE jurisdictions. This resource provides all details on the AK Bar Exam results, dates, deadlines, fees, applications, and more.
Alaska Bar Exam Structure
The UBE is divided into two days, each with 6 testing hours. The writing portion (MPT/MEE) is administered on day one, and the MBE on day two. See below for a detailed breakdown.
Alaska Bar Exam Dates, Requirements, and Scheduling
You can't pass an exam that you don't take. Mark the dates and deadlines shown below on your calendar and review the eligibility requirements below. Save yourself some stress by collecting the proper documentation and submitting your application early.
The Alaska Bar Exam falls on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. Keep in mind that Alaska does not accept late applications. If you do not file by the timely filing deadline, you simply cannot sit for that exam unless specifically approved for good cause by the Board.
|2024 Alaska Bar Exam Filing Deadlines
|February 27-28, 2024
|July 30-31, 2024
|December 1, 2023
|May 1, 2024
To sit for the Alaska Bar Exam, you must have graduated with a Juris Doctorate (JD) or Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from a law school accredited or approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) or the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). You may register for the exam before you've graduated if you submit proof that you'll relieve your JB or LLB before your exam date.
If you have not graduated from an accredited or approved law school, you may still be eligible to take the AK Bar Exam if you've been licensed to practice in another state for 5 of the previous 7 years and have been engaged in the practice of law for 5 of those 7 years.
- Request an NCBE® number
- Register with the Alaska Bar Association, submit the electronic section of your application, and pay the fee
- Upload a signed and notarized Authorization and Release form or submit it by mail
- 2 passport sized (2x2) photos and 1 properly executed Standard Applicant Fingerprint Card must be mailed to the bar
- Have your law school send your original certificate of graduation from law school directly to the Alaska Bar Association (include: name, name of law school, graduation date, degree received, and the school's seal)
840 K Street, Suite 100
Alaska Bar Exam Cost and Fees
Applying for the Alaska Bar Exam costs hundreds of dollars or more, depending on your situation. Individuals applying for Admission by Reciprocity or who need to transfer their UBE Score can find the associated fees below.
|Exam cancellation fee
|Other Application Fees
|Application by Reciprocity
|Reciprocity denied or withdrawal
|Failure to demonstrate eligibility (reciprocity)
|UBE score transfer
*Alaska does not have a late filing period. The Executive Director will determine whether to accept a late application based on good cause.
Pay fees via credit card or PayPal. Applications received without full payment of fees will be returned. The Alaska Bar Association does not offer refunds unless you withdraw your application within 10 days of receiving your receipt for a $50 fee.
Going to law school, purchasing study materials, and finally taking the Alaska Bar Exam is expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of cost-saving options available for eligible candidates. For example, the Alaska Bar Association offers scholarships to 1L and 2L students who demonstrate ties to Alaska and intend to return to Alaska within 2 years of graduation.
Most of the scholarships above are for current or soon-to-be law students. Try browsing the AccessLex Institute Law School Scholarship Databank for options better suited to you. You can also check out the American Bar Association's (ABA) website, which offers 100+ opportunities and programs for young lawyers and law students. Even if you can't obtain a scholarship, you can do some basic things to save money while preparing for the bar exam:
- Join a study group and split the cost of bar exam preparation materials among group members.
- Research free or low-cost study online study materials like past bar exam questions and answers to supplement commercial study aids.
- Some bar exam prep companies offer discounts or promotions to students who register early or refer friends to their program.
Alaska Bar Exam Subjects and Topics
The AK Bar Exam tests a candidate's legal knowledge, analytical skills, and competence to practice law. It covers a range of subjects, from Constitutional Law and Contracts to Criminal Law and Evidence. Candidates will be assessed by their ability to apply legal principles, draft legal documents, and effectively solve problems to ensure they can competently represent clients and complete entry-level legal tasks.
Testable subjects on the MEE
The MEE requires candidates to identify legal issues, apply relevant legal principles, and demonstrate their ability to analyze fact patterns and compose well-reasoned, organized, and concise written responses. MEE subjects include:
Some subjects may be tested together. Others may not be tested at all. What subjects the NCBE chooses for any administration are not made public before the exam. Historically, some have been tested more often than others. For example, Civil Procedure has been tested on almost every MEE for the past 10 years, while Criminal Law has only appeared a few times. However, subjects that occur less frequently may still be paired with others.
Check out our MEE Study Guide for details on planning your studies and determining what's essential so you use your time efficiently. Also, check out our MEE Subject Matter Outline for in-depth explanations of MEE subjects and sub-topics.
Testable subjects on the MBE
The MBE contains 200 multiple-choice questions divided evenly over 7 subjects. You'll notice that 7 x 25 does not equal 200. That's because 25 MBE questions are unscored questions that the NCBE field tests for future exams. There is no way to identify which questions are scored or unscored, so it's best to imagine that they are equally important. MBE subjects are as follows:
MPT: Testable items
The MPT is designed to test an examinee's "lawyering skills" using only the materials provided. These tasks are conducted in a closed-universe, fictional jurisdiction called "Franklin." The laws of the real world do not apply, so your critical thinking skills and understanding of fundamental legal principles are key. You'll receive faux reference material, which you'll use to solve two tasks, each graded on a scale from 0 to 6.
Alaska MPRE Requirements
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE®) is a 2-hour, 60-multiple-choice question exam that assesses an examinee's knowledge of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Candidates must pass the MPRE within 8 years of their application for admission to the Alaska Bar. You can register for the MPRE through the NCBE.
Alaska MPRE minimum passing score
Alaska has an MPRE minimum passing score of 80. Candidates are responsible for requesting a copy of their MPRE score report be sent to the Bar. Scores are only valid if transferred directly from the MPRE testing authority.
Alaska Bar Exam Scoring, Results, and Pass Rates
The UBE employs scaled scoring to ensure fairness across exam versions. Scaled scoring accounts for the fact that one exam administration may be more or less difficult than another administration. For example, February's exam may be more difficult than July's. It wouldn't be fair if you failed because you just happened to receive a harder exam version. To solve this, your raw scores are transformed into scaled scores through a statistical method called equating. Unfortunately, the NCBE does not release data on the calculations it uses to determine scaled scores.
Alaska bar exam scoring/grading
The Alaska Supreme Court lowered its UBE minimum passing score from 280 to 270 on Monday, February 27, 2023. Since the UBE is divided into two equally weighted sections—writing (MPT/MEE) and the MBE—you want to aim for a 135 on each section. However, you do not need to score 135 on each section to pass the AK Bar Exam. For example, an exceptional score on the MBE can balance out a subpar score on the writing section. What's important is that the sum of your two scores is 270 or higher.
Alaska Bar Exam results and pass rates
Alaska Bar Exam results are typically released 10-12 weeks following an exam administration. You'll notice that The Alaska Bar Exam's repeater pass rates are substantially lower than the first-timer pass rates, especially for the February 2023 exam. This discrepancy between first-timer and repeater pass rates is common across all jurisdictions and is likely because many who fail their first bar exam don't change how they study.
Here are the annual pass rates for the Alaska Bar Exam since 2017 divided into first-time examinees and repeaters:
Alaska Bar Exam Reciprocity
To be eligible for admission to the Alaska Bar without examination (i.e., Admission by Reciprocity), you must have passed the bar exam in a reciprocal jurisdiction and have actively practiced law in 1 or more US jurisdictions for 5 of the 7 years immediately preceding your application.
- You must also submit a Certificate of Standing from each jurisdiction to which you've been admitted (certificates must have been issued within 3 months).
- Undergo determination of character and fitness. This can take up to 4 months, so plan accordingly
- Have passed the MPRE with a score of 80+ within 8 years of your application
According to the Alaska Bar Association, reciprocal jurisdictions "offer admission without bar examination to attorneys licensed to practice law in Alaska, upon their compliance with specific conditions detailed by that jurisdiction, providing the conditions are not more demanding than those set forth in this Rule." This includes:
|Alaska Reciprocal Jurisdictions
District of Columbia
What Makes the Alaska Bar Exam Unique?
Until February 2023, Alaska had required the highest possible UBE minimum passing score. However, it has since lowered its passing score to 270.
Alaska Bar Exam for foreigners
You may sit for the Alaska Bar Exam if you have lawfully and actively practiced law in 1 or more US jurisdictions for 5 of the 7 years preceding their application or have:
- Graduated from a foreign law school which taught the principles of English Law if that school meets the ABA standards for approval
- Successfully completed 1 year at an ABA-approved law school, including 1 course in US Constitutional Law and 1 course in US Civil Procedure or is a member in good standing of the bar in 1 or more US jurisdictions and was admitted by written examination
The difference between those who fail the Alaska Bar Exam and those who pass is the right study plan. A quality full bar review course will help improve your score, whether it's your first, second, or even third time taking the Alaska Bar Exam.
Themis + UWorld get you exam-ready with exam-like practice with content and questions curated by an in-house team of subject matter experts. Our in-depth answer explanations for each answer choice and industry-leading images make the hard stuff easy to understand. Here's an overview of what you'll get:
Contact details of the Alaska Bar Association
If you wish to contact the Alaska Bar Association with inquiries regarding the Alaska Bar Exam, please see the contact details below.
840 K Street, Suite 100
Anchorage, Alaska 99501