The Kansas Bar Exam
Structure, Topics, Dates, Cost, Scores, and Eligibility
Since February 2016, the Kansas Bar Exam has been using the Uniform Bar Exam (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®).
Kansas 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.
Kansas 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 Kansas Bar Exam falls on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. It's important to file for your application on or before the timely filing deadline, as candidates who file during the late filing period must pay an additional $200. Any applications submitted after the late filing deadline will be considered applications for the next bar exam administration.
|Filing Periods||February 27-28, 2024||July 30-31, 2024*||Fee|
|Application Opens||March 2||November 2||N/A|
|Timely Filing Deadline||October 1||March 1||$700|
|Late Filing Deadline||November 1||April 1||$900|
*These were the filing deadlines for the July 2023 exam. The deadline for the July 2024 exam is TBD. While we cannot guarantee that the deadlines will be the same, they will likely be around the same time. We will update this with official information as soon as it becomes available.
To sit for the Kansas Bar Exam, you must have obtained a minimum scaled score of 80 on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE®) and have graduated with a Juris Doctorate (JD) or Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from a law school approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
While you do not have to have your character and fitness application accepted before you sit for the KS Bar Exam, your bar exam application will not be accepted until you have submitted a fingerprint card and required waivers. Furthermore, if you take the bar exam during an ongoing character and fitness investigation or hearing, your bar exam score will be "embargoed" until your qualifications are approved. If your character and fitness qualifications are denied, you must pay $1,250 to retake the Kansas Bar Exam.
To schedule your Kansas Bar Exam, you must have your undergraduate and law school transcripts sent directly to the Board from the associated college or university no later than January 15 for the February and June 15 for the July exams. E-transcripts can be sent to [email protected].
You will need a National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE®) number to complete your application. Be sure to read through the application thoroughly, as there are very specific instructions (e.g., original signatures must always be in blue ink). You will submit one original completed application and one exact copy, including all required supplemental materials.
Applications are reviewed in the order they are received. You may hand deliver or send your application to:
Kansas Board of Law Examiners
Kansas Bar Exam Cost and Fees
Applying for the Kansas Bar Exam costs hundreds of dollars or more, depending on your situation. Attorneys pay the same fee as non-attorneys. Individuals applying for Admission by Reciprocity or UBE Score Transfer can also find associated fees below.
|Other Application Fees|
|Single-employer restricted license||$1,250|
|Military-spouse restricted license||$1,250|
|Admission by Reciprocity||$1,250|
|UBE Score Transfer||$1,250|
Application fees must be submitted with your application. Make checks payable to the Clerk of the Supreme Court. Any applications submitted after the timely filing deadline but before the final filing deadline will incur a penalty fee of $200. Fees will not be refunded.
Going to law school, purchasing study materials, and finally taking the Kansas Bar Exam is expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of cost-saving options available for eligible candidates. For example, the Kansas Bar Foundation lists a number of scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for applicants who have the intent to practice law in the state of Kansas.
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.
Kansas Bar Exam Subjects and Topics
The KS 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 historically. 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 all just as 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.
Kansas 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 before they can take the Kansas Bar Exam. You can register through the NCBE.
Kansas MPRE Minimum Passing Score
Kansas 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.
Kansas 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.
Kansas Bar Exam scoring/grading
You must achieve a minimum score of 266 out of 400 for admission to the Kansas Bar. Since the UBE is divided into two equally weighted sections—writing (MPT/MEE) and the MBE—you want to aim for a 133 on each section. However, you do not need to score 133 on each section to pass the ME 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 266 or higher.
Kansas Bar Exam results and pass rates
You'll notice that The Kansas 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.
|Feb. 2023||51%||63%||38%||April 3|
|July 2022||70%||75%||32%||September 8|
Here are the annual pass rates for the Kansas Bar Exam since 2017 divided into first-time examinees and repeaters:
Kansas Bar Exam results are typically released 6 weeks following an exam administration. Results were released on April 3, 2023, and September 8, 2022, for the February 2023 and July 2022 exams.
Need more proof? We are the only bar review course that publishes our pass rates every year.
Kansas Bar Exam Reciprocity
In Kansas, Admission on Motion is based on reciprocity. Kansas offers reciprocity with the following jurisdictions:
The fee for admission to the Kansas Bar by reciprocity is $1,250. You must also meet the following requirements:
- Hold an active license in a reciprocal jurisdiction
- Have never been suspended, disbarred, or lost your license in any jurisdiction
- Meet the requisite character and fitness standards to practice law in Kansas
- Have lawfully engaged in the active practice law for 5 of the 7 years immediately preceding your application
- Meet the eligibility requirements outlined for bar exam applicants
Active Practice of Law refers to representing a client in the practice of law, serving as corporate counsel or as an attorney with a local, state, or federal government body, teaching at an ABA-approved law school, or serving as a judge or judicial law clerk in a federal, state, or local court, provided that the position required a license to practice law.
What Makes the Kansas Bar Exam Unique?
While the Kansas Bar Exam follows the format of the many jurisdictions that have adopted the UBE, Kansas requires that candidates pass the MPRE before they sit for the KS Bar Exam, which is a relatively unique requirement.
Kansas Bar Exam for foreigners
Graduates of foreign law schools are not eligible for admission to the Kansas Bar by examination. Furthermore, if a foreign law school graduate obtains an LLM or other graduate law degree from an ABA-approved law school, the graduate is not eligible to take the KS Bar Exam on that basis alone.
The difference between those who fail the Kansas Bar Examination 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 Kansas Bar Exam.
Themis + UWorld gets 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 Kansas Judicial Branch
If you wish to contact the Kansas Board of Bar Examiners with inquiries regarding the Kansas Bar Exam, please see the details below.
Kansas Attorney Admissions Office
Kansas Judicial Center
301 SW 10th Ave., 1st Floor
Topeka, KS 66612-1507