The Missouri Bar Exam

Structure, Topics, Dates, Cost, Scores, and Eligibility

The Missouri Bar Exam adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE®) in February 2011. Missouri was one of the two first states to administer the UBE in its debut year, along with North Dakota. The UBE is divided into three sections—the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE®), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT®), and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE®). The exam tests a candidate's comprehension of a broad range of legal topics and ability to apply that knowledge in various situations.

The UBE is standardized and portable, meaning successful examinees can transfer their scores to one or more of the 41 participating jurisdictions. If you're preparing for the MO Bar Exam, this article provides everything you need regarding results, requirements, dates, deadlines, fees, applications, and more.

Missouri Bar Exam Structure

The Uniform Bar Exam is administered over two days and consists of a writing section (MPT/MEE) and a multiple-choice section (MBE).

Missouri Bar Exam Schedule


The MBE is weighted at 50% of the UBE, making it the most heavily weighted section of the Missouri Bar Exam. Examinees will have two 3-hour sessions to answer 200 multiple-choice questions.


The MEE is weighted at 30% of the UBE and is administered on day one. Examinees have 3 hours to answer six 30-minute essay questions.


The MPT is weighted at 20% of the UBE and is administered on day one. Examinees are provided faux case files imitating realistic scenarios and a folder with various legal documents, which they must use to respond to assignments.

Missouri Bar Exam Dates, Requirements, and Scheduling

When preparing for the Missouri Bar Exam, no date is more important than the filing date. You can't pass an exam that you can't take. The final filing date for the July 2024 exam is May 31, and December 31 for the February 2024 exam. However, it’s recommended that you save and submit your application to avoid additional fees (see table).

Exam dates

Each of Missouri's four filing deadlines triggers higher and higher fees. Fees in the table are for applicants that have never previously registered for a Missouri Bar Exam and did not apply for a Character and Fitness report as a 1L or 2L law student. If a filing deadline falls on a legal holiday or weekend, the deadline will be moved to the end of the next business day.

February 27-28,
2024 Bar Exam
July 30-31,
2024 Bar Exam
First October 1 March 1
Second November 1 April 1
Third December 1 May 1


To sit for the Missouri Bar Exam, you must have graduated with a Juris Doctor degree (JD) or Bachelor of Laws (LLB) that is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). These requirements may be waived if you meet one of the following criteria (Rule 8.07(d) or (e)):

  • Have been actively engaged in the practice of law full-time in a US jurisdiction for three of the five years preceding submission of your application
  • Have completed 24 semester hours at a law school approved by the ABA within three years preceding submission of your application
  • Hold an active law license in another US jurisdiction and have graduated with a Master of Laws degree (LLM) from an ABA-approved institution
  • Submit an Application for Character and Fitness Report concurrently with their Application for Bar Examination (for applicants that did not seek a determination before their last year of law school)

Note that your Character and Fitness Report must be submitted, but not approved, before you sit for the Missouri Bar Exam. Students can file their application by the first June 30 in their first year of law school and may qualify for a reduced exam application fee. You may still file a Character and Fitness application before June 30 in your second year of law school, but you will not qualify for a reduced fee.

Missouri Bar Exam for foreigners

As a foreigner, you may sit for the Missouri Bar Exam if you can provide a "document-by-document" report prepared by World Education Services (WES) showing proof that you have passed the bar exam in another state or have been admitted to practice law in the foreign country where your law degree was awarded. You must also hold an active law license and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have practiced law full-time for at least three of the five years preceding your application submission
  • Have completed 24 semester hours at a law school approved by the ABA within three years preceding submission of your application
  • Have graduated with a Master of Laws degree from an ABA-approved institution


To schedule your Missouri Bar Exam appointment, you must register with the Missouri Board of Law Examiners and complete the online application process. Applications are not considered properly submitted until the requisite fees have been paid, the electronic application submitted, and the paper portion of the application has been properly postmarked and received. If a filing deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be moved to the next business day.

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A licensed attorney Themis essay grader looking at a Themis student’s MEE answer.

Missouri Bar Exam Cost and Fees

The Missouri Board of Law Examiners has a uniquely complex fee schedule for its bar exam. There are four deadlines, each triggering higher and higher fees. Furthermore, fees vary for applicants depending on when they applied for a character and fitness report, among other reasons (see fee schedule below).

Application Type First Second Third
First Time Applicant Applicant that did not apply for a character & fitness report as a 1L or 2L student $1,045 $1,190 $1,400
Applicant that did apply for a character & fitness report as a 1L or 2L student $560 $700 $910
Retakers Failing the most recent Missouri Bar Exam $560 $645 $710
Failing to appear for or pass a Missouri Bar Exam other than the most recent $670 $760 $850
Disbarred attorney  Taking the bar exam to seek reinstatement pursuant to rule 5.28(c) $560 $700 $910

Fees to postpone an exam vary depending on how much notice you give the MBLE. For example, a postponement postmarked or received 30 days or more before the start of the exam you applied for requires a $175 fee.

Application Time
30 days or more $175
29 - 7 days $285

Candidates interested in applying for the Missouri Bar without examination, looking into temporary/limited practice, submitting an early character and fitness report, or using a laptop on the bar exam should review the fee schedule below.

Other Fees
Temporary Practice $100
Admission by Transferred UBE Score $1,240
Admission without Examination $1,240
Limited In-House Counsel Admission  $1,240
Foreign Legal Consultant  $1,400
Character and Fitness Report (1L) $240
Character and Fitness Report (2L) $465
Laptop Use $125

Payment policies

Filing fees must be paid via cashier's check, money order, corporate check, law firm check, or by debit or credit card. Physical checks must be postmarked by the filing deadline and made payable to the "Clerk of the Supreme Court."

Filing fees are not refundable but can be carried forward to the next scheduled administration on time. To request a notice of postponement, submit an email to [email protected] before the exam you originally scheduled.

Cost-saving options

Paying for law school tuition and bar exam fees isn't cheap. Fortunately, there are a number of cost-saving options available to eligible candidates. For example, the Missouri Bar Foundation offers several foundation funds. You can also browse the AccessLex Institute Law School Scholarship Databank for options more specifically suited to you. Furthermore, the ABA offers 100+ opportunities and programs for young lawyers and law students every year. There are also some simple actions you can take to save money as you work toward bar admission:

  • 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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Themis pass rates

Missouri Bar Exam Subjects and Topics

The MO Bar Exam tests an examinee's ability to analyze and reason alongside their knowledge and understanding of fundamental legal principles. Furthermore, since Missouri has adopted the UBE, a successful exam score represents one's competency and readiness to practice law in the 40 other participating jurisdictions.

MEE: Testable subjects

The MEE consists of six 30-minute essay questions. Each question involves one or more of the subjects listed below. Some subjects may be paired together. Other subjects could be omitted. While it's impossible to know which subjects the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE®) will choose on any given exam version, some have been tested more frequently than others historically.

For example, Civil Procedure has appeared on nearly every MEE in the past decade, while Criminal Law has only appeared several times. However, subjects that occur less frequently on their own may be paired with others. Our MEE Study Guide and Prep Tips provides all the details you need to focus your studies on what's essential and use your time efficiently.

Check out our MEE Subject Matter Outline for detailed explanations of MEE subjects and sub-topics.

MBE: Testable subjects

The MBE is administered annually in two 3-hour sessions on (Day 2) of the bar exam on the last Wednesday in February and July. It is scored on a 200-point scale and presents candidates with 200 multiple-choice questions spanning the following 7 MBE subjects, broken down into 25 questions per subject with an additional 25 unscored pilot questions for future exams:

MPT: Testable items

The MPT consists of closed-universe practical questions with instructions, factual data, cases, statutes, and other reference material supplied by examiners. Candidates will answer two cases presenting simulated real-life scenarios occurring in the fictional jurisdiction of "Franklin." These tasks are designed for examinees to demonstrate their lawyering skills, using only the materials provided by the bar examiners. Each case is assessed on a 6-point scale, with a 6 being the highest possible score and a 0 being the lowest possible score.

Exclusive access to dozens of practice questions from recent bar exams.
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Missouri Bar Exam Scoring/Grading

To be admitted into the Missouri Bar, applicants must pass the UBE with a minimum scaled score of 260 out of 400. Exam weightage is divided between the three sections as follows:

The MEE and MPT are combined into half the weightage of the test and graded as such. Therefore, the writing section (MEE/MPT) and the multiple-choice section (MBE) each comprise 50%, or 200 points, of your total scaled score. If you do poorly on one section of the exam, you can make up for it on the other, as long as these scores combine to a sum of 260 or more.

Note that getting 130 of 200 MPT questions correct does not necessarily mean you've earned 130 scaled points. Scaled scoring is employed to ensure fairness across exam versions. This scoring model is true for all three sections of the bar exam.

For example, July's exam may be more difficult than February's. It would be unfair to allow someone to pass or fail based on the relative difficulty of their exam version. Therefore, examinees' 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.

Missouri MPRE minimum passing score

The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE®) features 60 multiple-choice questions administered over two hours. Before you can practice law in Missouri, you must pass the MPRE with a minimum score of 80. Applicants must successfully pass the MPRE before they sit for the Missouri Bar Exam. Check out our article, About the MPRE, to learn more about the mandatory exam.

Missouri Bar Exam Results and Pass Rates

As is typical with bar exams across the country, the Missouri Bar Exam's repeater pass rate is markedly lower than the first-timer pass rate. This phenomenon is likely because many examinees who failed the first time haven't changed their study habits significantly.

Exam Overall
Pass Rate
Pass Rate
Pass Rate
Release Date
July 2023 81% 88% 37% September 13
Feb. 2023 47% 59% 38% April 12

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

Missouri Bar Exam results

Missouri Bar Exam results are released approximately 9 weeks following the exam. The July 2023 exam results were released on September 13 2023, and April 12, 2023, for the February 2023 exam.

What Makes the Missouri Bar Exam Unique?

The Missouri Board of Law Examiners and the Supreme Court of Missouri require candidates to take the 33-question, open-book Missouri Educational Component Test (MECT) within 1 year of passing the bar. The exam assesses knowledge of "Significant Missouri Law Distinctions" The MECT includes the following subjects:

  • Torts
  • Civil Procedure
  • Real Property, Trusts
  • Estates
  • Family Law
  • Business Associations
  • Administrative Law
  • Missouri Courts
  • Evidence
  • Trust Account Management


Missouri offers reciprocity (Mutuality of Admission') with the jurisdictions shown below. According to Rule 8.10, Missouri offers admission on motion (i.e., without examination) to individuals licensed in another US jurisdiction who have practiced law full-time for five of the ten years preceding the date of your application. If you meet this requirement, you may be admitted to the Missouri Bar without examination. The practice of law includes teaching full-time in an ABA-approved law school, practicing law as in-house counsel in a US jurisdiction, serving as a lawyer with the US military, or some combination of these.

Final Takeaways

Challenging though it may be, you can ace the Missouri Bar Examination with the right study plan and the leading full bar review course. Whether you are taking the UBE for the first time or you are a repeater, the best way to be among those who pass the Missouri Bar Exam is to study with practice questions and mock exams that mimic the actual bar exam.

If practice feels like the real thing, the real thing will feel like practice. The Themis + UWorld full bar review bundle offers 4000+ MBE practice questions. Each question has been curated by our premier team of legal professionals or is licensed by the NCBE.

You'll gain access to 100+ MEE practice essays and 22 MPT practice questions from past exams. In addition, our platform offers customizable flashcards, performance tracking, Qbanks filled with detailed illustrations, readings paired with bite-sized video lectures, and thorough explanations for each question.

Contact Details of the Missouri State Bar

Missouri Board of Law Examiners office hours are Monday - Friday from 8 am to 5 pm CST. See the table below for the Board's contact information.

Medium Info
Phone Number (573) 751-9814
Fax (573) 751-5335
Character and Fitness Fax (573) 751-6225
Email [email protected]
Mailing Address PO Box 104236
Jefferson City, MO 65110-4236
Overnight Delivery
Mailing Address
1700 Jefferson Street
Jefferson City, MO 65109
Our MBE QBank has in-depth rationales for correct and incorrect answer choices.
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Illustration of criminal battery against another person.
Illustration of common law burglary.

Missouri Bar Exam FAQs

The bar exam in Missouri spans two days, each consisting of six-hour testing sessions.

To sit for the Missouri Bar Exam, you must have graduated with a JD or LLB that is accredited by the American Bar Association. For details, see the “requirements” section of this article.

The Missouri Bar Exam is as hard as the bar exam of the 40 other jurisdictions that have adopted the UBE. It may be considered slightly easier than bar exams with state-specific components.
The timely deadline to file your Missouri Bar Exam application is October 1, 2023, for the February 2024 exam and March 1, 2024 for the July 2024 exam. Filing fees range from $560 to $1400, depending on your status and when you file.
There is no limit to the number of times you can take the Missouri Bar Exam.

It costs $485 to $695 to retake the Missouri Bar Exam, depending on when you file.

The minimum passing UBE score for Missouri is 260.

Missouri offers “Mutuality of Admission” with these jurisdictions.

Yes, you can transfer your MBE from another jurisdiction to Missouri via the NCBE’s MBE score services.

Yes, you can transfer your Missouri UBE score to another jurisdiction if that jurisdiction accepts UBE scores.

To be admitted to the Missouri Bar without examination, you must have practiced law full-time for 5 of the 10 years preceding the date of your application. See the section on reciprocity for details.

We recommend dedicating 400 study hours to the MO Bar Exam. Most students begin studying 8-10 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 Missouri.
To become a licensed attorney in Missouri, you must earn an undergraduate degree, pass the LSAT, earn a JD from an ABA or Missouri-approved law school, pass the bar exam, take the Missouri Educational Component Test (MECT), and be approved for admission to the bar.

To request special accommodations for the Missouri Bar Exam, you must fill out a Request for Accommodations Form and include Disability Verification Forms for each disability with your electronic bar exam application.

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