The Mississippi Bar Exam
Structure, Topics, Dates, Cost, Scores, and Eligibility
Mississippi administers all three components of the National Conference of Bar Examiners's (NCBE®) Uniform Bar Examination (UBE®): the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE®), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT®), and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE®). However, because Mississippi also administers a state-specific component, the Mississippi Essay Examination (MSE), and grades all four components together, it is not considered a UBE state.
This additional MSE component makes the Mississippi Bar Exam one of the more difficult bar exams. Candidates must study everything those in UBE jurisdictions must study and prepare for a state-specific essay component. Fortunately, this article provides everything you need to know to take, and begin preparing for, the MS Bar Exam, including its structure, important dates and deadlines, scoring method, requirements, how to apply for the exam, how to save money while doing so, and more.
Mississippi Bar Exam Structure
The Mississippi Bar Exam spans 2 days. Each day contains 6-7.5 testing hours divided between the morning and afternoon. You'll begin the first day with 4 MSE questions and the MPT, followed by 2 more MSE questions and 6 MEE questions in the afternoon. This schedule is intense, considering UBE examinees have 3 hours to take the MEE and MPT each.
The second day consists entirely of the MBE. You'll answer 100 multiple-choice questions in the morning and another 100 in the afternoon. The schedule below breaks down the schedule for the July MS Bar Exam. The official schedule for the February and July 2024 exams has not been posted, but we can assume it will be similar, if not the same. However, there is no guarantee that the MSE subjects will remain the same.
The Mississippi Bar Exam tasks you with the following:
- 6 MEE questions
- 6 MSE questions
- 200 MBE questions
- 2 MPT tasks
|Tuesday, July 25, 2023|
|7:30 - 8:00||Registration|
|8:00 - 8:15||Instructions|
|8:15 - 11:45||Mississippi Essay Examinations (MSE)
|11:45 - 1:00||Lunch|
|1:00 - 1:15||Instructions|
|1:15 - 5:15||Mississippi Essay Examinations (MSE)
|Wednesday, July 26, 2023|
|8:15 - 8:45||Registration|
|8:45 - 9:00||Instructions|
|9:00 - 12:00||
MBE - 100 questions
|12:00 - 1:15||Lunch|
|1:15 - 1:30||Instructions|
|1:30 - 4:30||
MBE - 100 questions
Mississippi Bar Exam Dates, Requirements, and Scheduling
While Mississippi is not a UBE state, The Mississippi Board of Bar Admissions administers its bar exams on the same dates—the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. We recommend thoroughly reviewing the requirements, scheduling instructions, and filing deadlines below. Gathering your documents early will save you a ton of stress as the filing deadline draws nearer.
The Mississippi Bar Exam has 2 filing deadlines. The first deadline is about 5-6 months before the associated exam, followed by a late filing deadline after a 1-month grace period. Those who submit their applications after the timely filing deadline but before the late filing deadline must pay a $200 late fee, so we recommend collecting all necessary documents as early as possible.
|Filing Periods||February 27-28, 2024||July 30-31, 2024||Fee|
|Timely Filing Deadline||September 1, 2023||February 1, 2024||$525|
|Late Filing Deadline||November 1, 2023||April 1, 2024||$725|
To take the Mississippi Bar Exam, you must have graduated with a Juris Doctorate (JD) or Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). You may also sit for the exam if you will be within 60 days of graduating at the time of taking the bar exam.
You must also be approved for character and fitness before you can sit for the Mississippi Bar Exam. If you have lived outside of the State of Mississippi for 6 months (cumulatively or consecutively) or longer following your 18th birthday, you are responsible for applying for a Character and Fitness Investigation through the NCBE. The Board employs a Committee on Character and Fitness to review applications, conduct conferences and hearings with applicants, and make recommendations to the Board.
Finally, you must pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE®) within 24 months (2 years) before or within 1 year after the date of passing the bar exam. While passing the MPRE before you sit for the exam is not technically required, it's recommended. In summary, to sit for the MS Bar Exam, you must:
- Graduate from an ABA-accredited law school
- Get your character and fitness approved by the Board
- Pass the MPRE (optional but recommended)
First, it is recommended, but not required, that law students register for the Mississippi Bar Exam by October 1 of their second year of law school. By registering as a law student, you'll save on application fees when it's time to apply for the bar exam. The application process is done entirely online through the Mississippi Board of Bar Admissions portal. The total submission fee is $125 for applications filed on time and $325 for those filed late.
|Late Filing Deadline for Registration as a Law Student|
|February Exam||July Exam|
|March 1||August 1|
To schedule your MS Bar Exam, you must complete all applications online (typed answers). We also recommend that you thoroughly review the Rules Governing Admission. Online applications must be printed, signed, notarized, and submitted to the Mississippi Board of Bar Admissions office (see address below) before the appropriate filing deadline. This process includes submitting their fingerprints and obtaining an NCBE number to apply for the Character and Fitness investigation (if necessary). The Board recommends seeking hotel accommodations at The Westin Jackson or using the Visit Jackson website to find alternatives.
MS Board of Bar Admissions P. O. Box 1449Jackson, MS 39215-1449
Mississippi Bar Exam Cost and Fees
Applying for the Mississippi Bar Exam costs hundreds of dollars or more, depending on your situation. However, candidates who have registered for the exam as law students will pay $300 less than candidates who haven't. See the fee schedule below for details. Individuals applying for Admission on Motion can also find associated fees below.
|Registered Law Student||$550|
|Deferment of Applications||$350|
|Processing Fee (all applications)||$25|
|Other Application Fees|
|Character & Fitness Investigations||Schedule|
|Law Student Registration||$125|
|Deferment of Applications||$350|
|Admission on Motion||$1,500|
You may pay the requisite fees online, in exact cash, by money order, or by certified check. Personal or business checks are not accepted. All requisite fees must be payable to the Mississippi Board of Bar Admissions.
The first cost-saving option for the MS Bar Exam is registering for the exam while you're still in law school. Doing so will save you $300. If you're traveling to Jackson to sit for the exam, you can also save money by booking accommodation at The Westin Jackson for a group rate. If you are applying to or currently attending law school in Mississippi, you should review the scholarships page of Mississippi College.
If the above scholarships don't apply to you, 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.
Mississippi Bar Exam Subjects and Topics
The MS Bar Exam tests a candidate's legal knowledge, analytical skills, and competence to practice law on both a federal and state level. 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.
Mississippi Essay Exam subjects
The Board drafts 6 essay questions for each exam administration. It's important to note that the Board clearly states on their exam schedule that "Legal Ethics and Professional Conduct is potential subject matter on questions throughout the Mississippi Essay Examination. Some questions may include issues in more than one area of law." After each exam administration, you can review the previously used essay questions the Board posts. The Board pulls from the subjects listed below and posts which subjects will be tested before each administration.
- Administrative Law
- Business Organizations
- Conflict of Laws
- Domestic Relations
- Federal Income Taxation
- Federal Jurisdiction and Rules of Civil Procedure
- MS Constitutional Law
- Practice and Procedure of MS
- Professional Conduct and Ethics
- Uniform Commercial Code
- Trusts and Future Interests
- All MBE subjects
Mississippi 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 Mississippi Bar Exam. You can register through the NCBE.
Mississippi MPRE minimum passing score
Mississippi has an MPRE minimum passing score of 75. 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 and must have been earned within 24 months before the bar exam or within 1 year after.
Mississippi Bar Exam Scoring, Results, and Pass Rates
Like the UBE, the Mississippi Bar Exam 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 an equating statistical method. Unfortunately, the NCBE does not release data on the calculations it uses to determine scaled scores.
Mississippi Bar Exam scoring/grading
The minimum passing scaled score on the MS Bar Exam is 132 of 200, or 264 scaled to 400. Your raw scores on the written portion of the MS Bar Exam (MSE, MEE, and MPT) are converted into average converted (scaled) scores on a range of 0-200. For example, each question on the MSE is assigned a raw score on a range of 0-100 points, but this is not your final score. Your raw score on the MBE is also converted into a scaled score on a range of 0-200. Your goal is to earn 132 points on each exam section for a total score of 264. However, you can make up for points missed on one section with the other.
|Mississippi Bar Exam Scoring/Grading|
|Raw score range for
Mississippi Bar Exam results and pass rates
You'll notice that The Mississippi 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 due to the fact that many who fail their first bar exam don't change the way they study.
|July 2022||71%||75%||33%||September 26|
*The NCBE has not posted the release date for February 2023
Here are the annual pass rates for the Mississippi Bar Exam since 2017 divided into first-time examinees and repeaters:
Mississippi Bar Exam results are typically released 7-8 weeks following an exam administration. Results were released on September 26, 2022, for the July 2022 exam.
Mississippi Bar Exam Reciprocity
In Mississippi, Admission on Motion is based on reciprocity. To be eligible for Admission on Motion in Mississippi, you must have practiced law in a jurisdiction that accepts Mississippi attorneys for admission without examination for at least 5 years and meet all the requirements of a regular applicant (see requirements section).
Mississippi has reciprocity with the jurisdictions listed below. Note that according to the Board, the jurisdictions listed here are "for the convenience of prospective applicants." The Board does not routinely check other jurisdictions' Admission on Motion rules, and this list is subject to change.
What Makes the Mississippi Bar Exam Unique?
The Mississippi Bar Exam is unique because Mississippi is not a UBE state, but its entire exam contains the UBE and a state-specific exam component. The MSE contains six essay questions, meaning that the MS Bar Exam requires you to answer a total of 12 essay questions, and eight of these questions must be answered in 4 hours during the afternoon of the first day alone.
Mississippi Bar Exam for foreigners
Graduates of foreign law schools are not eligible for admission to the Mississippi 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 MS Bar Exam on that basis alone.
The difference between those who fail the Mississippi 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 MS 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 Mississippi Board of Bar Admissions
If you wish to contact the Board with inquiries regarding the Mississippi Bar Exam, please see the details below.
|Application Help||[email protected]|
|Technical Help||[email protected]|
MS Board of Bar Admissions
P.O. Box 1449
Jackson, MS 39215-1449
Mississippi Bar Exam FAQs
Yes, Mississippi offers reciprocity with the following jurisdictions.
What is the time limit for accepting a transferred UBE score in Mississippi(i.e., maximum age of the UBE score)?
You may be admitted without examination to the Mississippi Bar if you’ve been actively engaged in the practice of law and meet these requirements.