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All About the Maryland Bar Exam

As of July 2019, Maryland administers the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) to prospective law practitioners in the state. This in-depth article will give you details and insights on the UBE Maryland Bar Exam to ensure that you know what to expect and are adequately prepared for test day.

Eligibility & Registration

To be eligible for admission to the Maryland Bar via the UBE, you must have met the following requirements:

  1. Completed the pre-legal education necessary to be admitted to an ABA-approved law school.
  2. Graduated with a JD or equivalent from an ABA-approved law school
    1. Waivers of this requirement may be available to applicants admitted to the Bar of another U.S. jurisdiction OR who completed their first legal degree in a non-U.S. jurisdiction and an additional legal degree (LLM) at an ABA-approved U.S. law school.
    2. If the applicant requires a waiver of the law school education eligibility requirement, they must seek and obtain that waiver BEFORE creating their Notice of Intent to Take the UBE in Maryland. For more information on seeking a waiver of the standard educational requirements, visit Eligibility Waiver for Graduates of Non-ABA Law Schools.
  3. Achieved a Qualifying UBE Score.
  4. Achieved a Qualifying MPRE Score.
  5. Successfully completed the Maryland Law Component.
  6. Established good moral character & fitness for admission.

Foreign attorneys may be eligible to sit for the MD Bar Exam provided they meet all of the requirements under the Maryland State Board of Law Examiners Rule 19-201(b).

Source: https://mdcourts.gov/ble/admissionube

To apply for the Maryland Bar Exam, you must create an account on Maryland's Electronic Bar Application System ("eBar"). Once you do, you will be able to submit your Maryland Bar Exam application online.

Costs & Fees

Maryland Bar Exam Filing Fees
Character Questionnaire Fee $350
Application Fee $400
Laptop Computer Fee $180

Cost-Saving Options

From law school to bar prep to the actual bar exam, the journey to legal practice can be expensive. The good news is that scholarships and grants are available to help you with all these costs.

Many Maryland area organizations, including universities, foundations, and law firms, offer law students in the region various scholarships and grants to help with legal education and bar exam costs. For example, the Maryland Bar Foundation provides annual grants and awards to MD law students.

The Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation (SCWLF) awards a yearly scholarship to a graduating law student preparing to take the Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, or Pennsylvania Bar Exam. Learn more at Scholarship Application ⋆ Sarita & Claire Foundation.

The American University of Washington College of Law has compiled a list of bar study financial aid resources, including loans and scholarships, which you may review here: Bar Study - American University Washington College of Law.

We strongly encourage all candidates who plan on taking the Maryland Bar Exam to review as many of these scholarships as possible and apply to those for which they are eligible.

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Exam Dates & Schedule

Like most UBE jurisdictions, the Maryland Bar Exam is administered over two days:

Day 1:

  • Two 90-minute Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions
  • Six 30-minute Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) questions and

Day 2:

  • 200-question Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) – with 100 questions in the morning and 100 in the afternoon.
Upcoming Maryland Bar Exam Dates
Future Exams Test Dates Timely FIling Deadline
February 2023 February 21-22, 2023 December 20, 2022
July 2023 July 26-27, 2023 May 1, 2023

Structure & Subjects

The MD Bar Exam tests applicants on the following:

Multistate Essay Exam (MEE)

The six 30-minute essay questions on the MEE test cover the following subjects:

  • Business Associations (Agency and Partnership; Corporations; and Limited Liability Companies)
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Family Law
  • Trusts and Estates (Decedents' Estates; Trusts and Future Interests)
  • Article 9 (Secured Transactions) of the Uniform Commercial Code
  • Plus all MBE subjects

Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)

The MBE tests the following subjects across two 100-question sessions:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Real Property
  • Torts

You may find a complete list of subjects and subtopics here: MBE Subject Matter Outline

Multistate Performance Test (MPT)

The MPT Exam features two 90-minute performance legal case questions presenting legal case scenarios challenging bar applicants to identify the right strategies and actions an attorney should take in response to case facts. The questions provide detailed instructions, factual data, statutes, and other references to test your legal analysis skills in discerning relevant and irrelevant facts in a case.

Note: Before practicing law in Maryland, you must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) with a scaled score of 85.

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Scoring and Pass rates

As is the case for most UBE jurisdictions, the MEE and MPT scores are scaled to the MBE, with the following weightings:

  • MBE weighted 50%
  • MEE weighted 30%
  • MPT weighted 20%

The three scores are then combined to determine if the applicant has achieved a passing score of 266 or higher. For the most recent February 2022 bar exam, the pass rate for all test-takers was 41%, 57% for first-time, and 27% for repeat test-takers.

The table below shows the past two administrations’ results:

Maryland Bar
Exam Results
Overall Pass
Rate
First-Timer Pass
Rate
Repeater Pass
Rate
Results Release
Date
February 2022 37% 56% 27% May 6, 2022
July 2021 68% 78% 31% November 18, 2021

Source: Bar Exam Results by Jurisdiction - NCBE
Pass rates | Themis Bar Review

Maryland Bar Exam Reciprocity

Maryland has no formal reciprocity agreements with other states but makes provisions for admissions on motion for out-of-state attorneys.

Admission by Score Transfer

As of July 1, 2019, when Maryland adopted the UBE, the state will accept transfers of qualifying UBE scores from applicants who achieved those scores in other UBE states. Maryland also accepts MBE scores from exams taken in other jurisdictions as long as the applicant took their exams concurrently.

Admission on Motion

Applicants licensed to practice law in other states may be admitted to the Maryland Bar on motion, but they must:

  • take an essay exam on Maryland Evidence, Maryland Civil/Criminal Practice & Procedure, and Rules of Professional Conduct
  • have engaged in the active practice of law for ten years, or 5 of the ten years immediately preceding application, and be in good standing
  • have been admitted by exam in another state, and
  • have intent to practice in Maryland.

What Makes the Maryland Bar Exam Unique?

Individuals seeking admission to the Maryland bar via examination, UBE score transfer, or admission without examination as an experienced out-of-state attorney will be required to complete the state-specific Maryland Law Component. Out-of-state attorneys seeking admission on motion must also take an essay exam on Maryland Evidence, Maryland Civil/Criminal Practice & Procedure, and Rules of Professional Conduct to be eligible for admission to the Maryland Bar, as stated in the above section.

Final Takeaways

Judging by the most recent MD bar exam results and the fact that the exam features a state-specific essay component, the Maryland Bar Exam is among the most difficult bar exams in the country. That’s why it is crucial to prepare with the right bar prep review that helps you practice with proven MBE strategies and tactics.

Good luck with your MD Bar Exam preparation!

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Maryland Bar Exam FAQs

Judging by the pass rates from the past three administrations (February 2022, July 2021, and February 2021), the MD Bar Exam may be even more challenging than those administered in other UBE jurisdictions. The state-specific essay portion of the exam makes it particularly difficult.
The most recent February 2022 pass rates were 37% for all test-takers, 56% for first-time, and 27% for repeats.
The MD Bar Exam lasts two days, with the MEE and MPT lasting 3 hours and the MBE lasting 6 hours.
Maryland does not have a set limit on the number of times you can take the MD State Bar Exam, so if you fail the exam on your first attempt, you can revise your strategy and strive to do better the next time.
Maryland has no formal reciprocity agreements with other states but makes provisions for admissions on motion for out-of-state attorneys (see Maryland Bar Exam Reciprocity section above).
The Maryland UBE Bar Exam is scored on a 400-point scale, with a minimum passing score of 266 or greater. Both MPT questions are worth 20% total, the MEE 30%, and the MBE 50%.
The MD Bar Exam February 2022 exam results were released on May 6, 2022. The MD Bar Exam July 2021 exam results were released on November 18, 2021.
Yes, as long as they meet all the requirements under Maryland State Board of Law Examiners Rule 19-201(b).

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