The Nebraska Bar Exam
Structure, Topics, Dates, Cost, Scores, and Eligibility
The Supreme Court of Nebraska adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE®) in February 2013. The UBE is a standardized bar examination comprised of the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE®), the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE®), and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT®).
Uniformity among participating states has made interstate score transfer much easier. This article will provide detailed information on Nebraska Bar Examination dates, format, subjects, costs, results, and more.
Nebraska 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.
Nebraska 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.
An application is considered filed when received by the director, but it is not deemed complete until all required releases, notarized forms, and supplementary documents are received. After the exam application deadline, you can still submit a completed application up to 30 days later by paying an additional $150 late application fee.
|Filing Periods||February 27-28, 2024||July 30-31, 2024||Fee|
|Application Opens||September 1||January 2||N/A|
|Filing Deadline||November 1||March 1||$515|
To sit for the Nebraska Bar Exam, you must have graduated from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) with a Juris Doctorate (JD) or Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree. Attorney applicants are required to provide a current Certificate in Good Standing for each jurisdiction where they are licensed. These certificates must be dated no earlier than 30 days before the filing of the application, and Bar Admission certificates will not be accepted.
To schedule your Nebraska Bar Exam, you must:
- Apply through the Nebraska Supreme Court Attorney Service Division
- Provide References
- Submit Fingerprints
- Pay Fee
Pass the MBE Your First Time.
Nebraska Bar Exam Cost and Fees
Applying for the Nebraska Bar Exam costs hundreds of dollars or more, depending on your situation. Individuals applying for Admission on Motion or UBE Score Transfer can also find associated fees below.
|First Time Applicant||$515|
|First Time Applicant (w/ MPRE score)||$615|
|Retake (for immediate next exam)||$250|
|Retake (w/o MPRE score)||$615|
|Other Application Fees|
|On Motion Application (Class1(A)(B)(C))||$950|
|On Motion Application (Class1(D))||$487.50|
|Transferred UBE Score||$925|
|Processing (All applications)||$25|
Payment for the admissions application must be made through the online admissions application website, where credit cards, debit cards, or e-checks are accepted. Physical checks are not accepted, and applications will not be processed until full payment is received.
For the Bar Examination, if an applicant withdraws less than 30 days before the exam date, only the MPT, MBE, and MEE fees may be refunded. If an applicant provides written notice of withdrawal at least 30 days before the exam, they can request in writing for the Nebraska State Bar Commission to hold their fees over for the next available exam. If this is approved, a new application and new fingerprint cards are necessary for re-application. No refunds are available for motion applicants who withdraw or are denied admission.
Going to law school, purchasing study materials, and finally taking the Nebraska Bar Exam is expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of cost-saving options available for eligible candidates. 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.
Nebraska Bar Exam Subjects and Topics
The NE 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.
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Nebraska 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 Nebraska Bar Exam. You can register through the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE®).
You may apply for the Nebraska Bar Exam without a passing MPRE, but you must pay an additional $100 fee. If you are applying for admission on Motion as a Class 1A or Class 1C applicant, you must provide the Nebraska Bar Commission with an official score report, which must have been earned within the last three years before your application. MPRE scores are only valid for three years following their publication date.
Nebraska MPRE minimum passing score
Nebraska has an MPRE minimum passing score of 85. 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.
Nebraska 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.
Nebraska Bar Exam scoring/grading
You must achieve a minimum score of 270 out of 400 for admission to the Nebraska 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 NE 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.
Nebraska bar exam results and pass rates
You'll notice that the Nebraska 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||41%||42%||40%||March 29|
|July 2022||80%||82%||38%||September 13|
Here are the annual pass rates for the Nebraska Bar Exam since 2017 divided into first-time examinees and repeaters:
Nebraska Bar Exam results are typically released 6-7 weeks following an exam administration. Results were released on March 29, 2023, and September 13, 2022, for the February 2023 and July 2022 exams.
Nebraska bar exam reciprocity
Applicants for Admission on Motion in Nebraska must have a qualifying UBE score that was achieved within the last three years, or they must have been substantially engaged in the practice of law for 3 of the past 5 years. The Nebraska State Bar Commission does not handle the transfer requests for UBE scores. To transfer UBE scores, applicants must do so through the National Conference of Bar Examiners UBE Score Services page.
To qualify as "equivalent to" the Nebraska bar exam, a non-UBE must contain the same components with comparable weighting. The required components include a minimum of 3 hours dedicated to a performance test, a minimum of 3 hours dedicated to essay questions on substantive law, and the MBE. For more information, individuals can email [email protected].
Nebraska bar exam for foreigners
Graduates from foreign law schools are eligible for admission by examination if they have received a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from an ABA-approved law school.
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The difference between those who fail the Nebraska 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 NE Bar Exam.
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Contact details of the Nebraska State Bar
If you wish to contact the Nebraska Board of Bar Examiners with inquiries regarding the Nebraska Bar Exam, please see the details below.
|Phone Number||(402) 471-2834|
|Mailing Address||Nebraska State Bar Commission of the Nebraska Supreme Court
Room 2413, State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68508
Nebraska Bar Exam FAQs
The Nebraska Bar Exam consists of a total of 12 testing hours divided equally between two days.
The Nebraska 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 Nebraska Bar Exam application is November 1, 2023, for the February 2024 exam, and the deadline for the July 2024 exam is March 1 for the July 2023 exam. The application fee is $515.
You have 4 attempts to earn a passing UBE score.
Retaking the Nebraska Bar exam costs $515.
The minimum passing UBE score for Nebraska is 270.
Nebraska uses Admission on Motion in place of traditional reciprocity. Please read the requirements for Admission on Motion.
You can transfer your UBE score to another jurisdiction if it allows it.
What is the time limit for accepting a transferred UBE score in Nebraska(i.e., maximum age of the UBE score)?
The maximum age for the UBE score in Nebraska is 3 years.
You may be admitted without examination to the Nebraska Bar if you’ve been actively engaged in the practice of law for 5 of the 7 years immediately preceding your application and meet these requirements.
We recommend dedicating 400 study hours to the NE Bar Exam. Most students begin studying 8-10 weeks before 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 Nebraska.
The typical path to becoming a licensed attorney in Nebraska 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, pass the MPRE, and be approved for admission to the bar.
Fill out and submit the Accommodations Application. Forms are due no later than the late application deadline for the exam you wish to take.