The Maine Bar Exam
Structure, Topics, Dates, Cost, Scores, and Eligibility

The Maine Bar Examination adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE®) format in July 2017. The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE®) developed the UBE to assess a candidate's lawyering skills and legal knowledge. It consists of three components: the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE®), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT®), and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE®). 

This standardized test format allows individuals to transfer their scores to participating states more easily. The article provides more information about the ME Bar Exam, including dates, deadlines, fees, applications, results, and more.

Maine Bar Exam Structure

The UBE is divided between two days, each consisting of 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.

Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) structure and schedule

Maine Bar Exam Dates, Requirements, and Scheduling

You can't pass an exam that you don't take. We highly recommend marking the dates and deadlines below on your calendar and reviewing eligibility requirements.

Exam dates

You must submit your application for the Maine Bar Exam by 5:00 pm EST on the day of the deadline. There are three filing deadlines. Missing a deadline triggers an additional $150 late fee. The Board may accept applications after the final filing deadline "if in the exercise of its discretion or in the opinion of the Court no undue hardship will result to the Board's administrative procedures by such acceptances."

Filing Periods February 27-28, 2024 July 30-31, 2024* Fee
Filing Opens October 15, 2023 March 15, 2024 N/A
Timely Filing Deadline December 20, 2023 May 20, 2024 $600
Late Filing Deadline December 27, 2023 May 27, 2024 $750
Final Filing Deadline January 3, 2023 June 3, 2024 $900


To sit for the Maine Bar Exam, you must have a bachelor's degree from a college or university and a Juris Doctorate (JD) or Bachelor of Laws from an ABA-accredited law school. However, there are two exceptions:

  • For those who have been actively practicing law for at least 3 years and have graduated from a law school accredited by the US jurisdiction in which it is located.
  • For those who have successfully completed two-thirds of graduation requirements from an ABA-accredited law school and have studied law in an attorney's law office. Said attorney must have been actively practicing law in Maine full-time for at least one year and have presented a course of study for Board approval in advance.

Please reference the appropriate sections below for foreign applicants and those seeking reciprocity.


To schedule your Maine Bar Exam, you must follow these steps:

  1. Submit your completed application in the portal before the deadline
  2. Submit the application fee (must be in the Board's mailbox before the deadline)
  3. Submit notarized forms (must be in the Board's mailbox before the deadline)

Send all fees and original signed and notarized forms to the following address:


Maine Board of Bar Examiners 
135 Maine Street, Ste A, Box 305 
Brunswick, ME 04011

Maine Bar Exam Cost and Fees

Applying for the Maine Bar Exam costs hundreds of dollars or more depending on your situation. Attorneys pay a higher fee than others. Individuals applying for Admission on Motion or UBE Score Transfer can also find associated fees below.

Application Fees
Timely Filing $600
Late Filing $750
After Late, Before Final Filing $900
For Attorneys $650
Reapplication  $650
Other Application Fees
Pre. Determination Admission on Motion $250
Admission on Motion $900
Adv. Determination of Equivalency  $250
Character and Fitness Application  Schedule
UBE Score Transfer  $900
Miscellaneous Fees
Laptop Use Fee $110
Late Laptop Use Fee $160
Manual Registration Laptop Use Fee $220

*Bar exam fee for non-attorneys includes those admitted less than 1 year in another jurisdiction

Payment policies

Fees paid to the Board are nonrefundable. If you fail to take your scheduled exam, you can transfer your application fee to any one of the next four administrations of the Maine Bar Exam. All fees must be paid by personal check, cashier’s check, or money order and submitted to the Board with original completed forms.

Cost-saving options

Applying for the Maine Bar Exam isn't cheap, not to mention the cost of law school. The path to becoming an attorney requires a substantial financial investment. Fortunately, there are cost-saving options available to eligible candidates. For example, The University of Maine School of Law offers a wide-ranging scholarship program to its students, and nearly 70% of its students receive unconditional scholarships. 

If you don't qualify for the scholarship above, 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.
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Maine Bar Exam Subjects and Topics

The ME 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 just 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.

The Secret to a High Score on the MEE!
Work with a dedicated attorney essay grader who will grade your essays and provide feedback.
A licensed attorney Themis essay grader looking at a Themis student’s MEE answer.

Maine 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 being admitted to the Maine Bar and can register through the NCBE. Applicants applying for Admission by Motion must have successfully passed the MPRE within 15 years prior to the date of their application or have been admitted to practice law in a US jurisdiction that had an equal or greater passing score at the time of admission.

Maine MPRE minimum passing score

Maine 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.

Maine 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.

Maine Bar Exam scoring/grading

You must achieve a minimum score of 270 out of 400 for admission to the Maine Bar. 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 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 270 or higher.

Maine Bar Exam results and pass rates

You'll notice that the Maine Bar Exam's repeater pass rates are substantially lower than the first-timer pass rates. This discrepancy between first-timer and repeater pass rates is common across all jurisdictions and is likely due to the fact that many who fail their first bar exam don't change the way they study.

Exam Overall
Pass Rate
Pass Rate
Pass Rate
Release Date
July 2023 68% 78% 20% September 21
Feb. 2023 38% 51% 17% April 13

Here are the annual pass rates for the Maine Bar Exam since 2017 divided into first-time examinees and repeaters:

Maine Bar Exam results are typically released 7-9 weeks following an exam administration. Results were released on April 13 and September 21 for the February and July 2023 exams.

Maine Bar Exam Reciprocity

As of May 3, 2017, Maine does not have any reciprocity requirements for Admission by Motion to the Maine Bar. This means that you can apply for Admission on Motion from any US jurisdiction. You can gain admission to the Maine Bar without examination if you meet these requirements:

  • Are admitted to practice law in another US jurisdiction
  • Have been primarily engaged in the active practice of law in a US jurisdiction for at least 3 of the 5 years immediately preceding the date you file your motion.
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What Makes the Maine Bar Exam Unique?

The Maine Bar Exam itself is not unique, as it follows the same UBE format as dozens of other participating jurisdictions. However, Maine's minimum passing score is on the higher end, while the fee for attorneys is not much higher than it is for non-attorneys, which it typically is in other jurisdictions. Furthermore, Maine does not have reciprocity requirements, so an individual from any jurisdiction can apply for Admission on Motion if they meet the requirements.

Maine Bar Exam for foreigners

Foreigners may sit for the Maine Bar Exam if they have graduated from a foreign law school with a legal education that meets the regulations adopted by the Board and requirements set for accreditation by the ABA. You must also have been admitted to practice law in the country where you received said legal education or a US jurisdiction(s) and have been actively practicing law for at least 3 years. 

To determine the equivalency of your foreign legal education, you must pay a $250 fee. If you are found eligible to take the Maine Bar Exam, the fee may be used as a credit toward your application fee. Educational equivalency requires an applicant to complete at least 24 semester credit hours, or the equivalent, of courses covering US federal or state law. Furthermore, at least 16 of the semester credit hours must cover at least five of the following categories:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Evidence
  • Taxation
  • Procedure
  • Uniform Commercial Code
  • Descendants' Estates
  • Real Property
  • Corporations or Business Organizations
  • Torts

In addition to all of the above, you must also submit a transcript showing your grades, a description of the school's standard grading, and a concise description of the subject matter of the courses taken. The Board provides a checklist for applications with foreign legal education.

Final Takeaways

The difference between those who fail the Maine 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 Maine 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 Maine State Bar

If you wish to contact the Maine Board of Bar Examiners with inquiries regarding the Maine Bar Exam, please see the details below.

Medium Info
Phone Number (207) 623-2464
Email  [email protected]
Mailing Address 

Maine Board of Bar Examiners

135 Maine Street, Suite A Box 305

Brunswick, ME 04011

Maine Bar Exam FAQs

The Maine Bar Exam consists of a total of 12 testing hours divided equally between two days.
You must have graduated from an ABA-accredited law school to take the Maine Bar Exam. Please see the requirements and foreigners sections for exceptions.
The Maine Bar Exam is as hard as the bar exam of the 40 other jurisdictions that have adopted the UBE. However, states with non-UBE components may be considered more difficult.
The timely filing deadline for the Maine Bar Exam application is December 20, 2023, for the February 2024 exam and May 20, 2023, for the July 2024 exam. The application fee is $600. However, fees increase for applications submitted after the timely filing deadline but before the final filing deadline.
There is no limit on how many times you can take the Maine Bar Exam.
To retake the Maine Bar Exam, you must reapply and pay the normal application fee.
The minimum passing UBE score is 270 for Maine.
Maine does not have any reciprocity requirements. It accepts applications for Admission on Motion from any US jurisdiction.
Maine does not accept MBE score transfers from other jurisdictions.
You can transfer your UBE score to another jurisdiction if it allows it.
You may be admitted without examination to the Maine Bar if you’ve been actively engaged in the practice of law and meet these requirements.
We recommend dedicating 400 study hours to the ME Bar Exam. Most students begin studying 8-10 weeks prior to their exam’s administration. However, starting sooner may aid retention and decrease burnout, so we recommend starting as early as 4-6 months out if possible, especially if you work full-time.
No, you cannot practice law without a law degree in Maine.
The typical path to becoming a licensed attorney in Maine is as follows: earn an undergraduate degree, pass the LSAT, earn a JD from an ABA-accredited law school, be deemed of good moral character and fitness, pass the bar exam, and be approved for admission to the bar.
Fill out and submit the Testing Accommodations Application form. Forms are due no later than the application deadline for the exam you wish to take.
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