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What You Should Know About the New Jersey Bar Exam

The New Jersey Bar Exam is part of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), comprising the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), Multistate Performance Test (MPT), and Multistate Essay Examination (MEE). This detailed article will provide insights into the NJ Bar Exam to help you prepare confidently.

Eligibility & Registration

To submit an application with the New Jersey Board of Admissions to the Bar, you must first create a personal NJ Bar Admission Registration account on their official website. Your account will enable you to register for the NJ State Bar Exam and schedule your exam date.

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Exam Dates & Schedule

Like all UBE jurisdictions, the New Jersey Bar Exam is administered every year on the last Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July. The first day features six 30-minute MEE questions and two 90-minute MPT questions, while the second day features the 200-question, multiple-choice MBE, with 100 questions administered in the morning and 100 in the afternoon.

July 2022 Exam

Filing Deadline Registration Dates Exam Dates
On-Time March 1 - March 31 July 26-27, 2022
First-Late April 1 - April 15 -
Final Deadline - No Exceptions April 16 - April 30 -

Source: New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners - Fees & Deadlines

Structure & Subjects

1. MBE

The following MBE subjects will be tested on the New Jersey Bar Exam:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts/Sales
  • Criminal Law/Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Federal Civil Procedure
  • Real Property
  • Torts

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

2. MEE

In addition to all MBE subjects, the NJ Bar Exam tests candidates on 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

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

3. MPT

The two questions present a case scenario with both relevant and irrelevant facts, statutes, and data for you to interpret and scrutinize to arrive at a reasonable conclusion. The MPT challenges your ability to think like a lawyer and apply your understanding of legal concepts in analyzing real-world situations.

Note: Before you can practice law in New Jersey, you must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). The MPRE features 60 multiple-choice questions administered over two hours.

Scoring and Pass Rates

NJ Bar Exam Scoring

To be admitted into the New Jersey Bar, applicants must pass the UBE with a scaled score of 266. You cannot appeal your score, but any combined MBE and MEE score within a range of 260-271.9 will be regraded.

The NJ Bar Exam is weighted as follows:

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

With a 50% weighting, it is critical that you prepare to ace the MBE since a high score increases your chances of passing the NJ State Bar Exam.

NJ Bar Exam Pass Rates

New Jersey Bar Exam Results Overall Pass Rate First-Timer Pass Rate Repeater Pass Rate Results Release Date
February 2022 TBA TBA TBA TBA
July 2021 59% 71% 17% November 15, 2021
February 2021 43% N/A N/A May 7, 2021

Source: Bar Exam Results by Jurisdiction - NCBE

New Jersey Bar Exam Reciprocity

New Jersey has reciprocity with the following states: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DC, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, VI, WA, WI, and WY.

You may find a complete list of both New Jersey reciprocal and nonreciprocal states here: Reciprocal Jurisdictions.

What Makes the New Jersey Bar Exam Unique?

The following rules govern bar admissions in New Jersey:

According to Rule 1:24, which governs the courts of the state of New Jersey concerning applications for admission to practice law in the jurisdiction, to be admitted on motion into the New Jersey State Bar, applicants must meet the following requirements

  • have lawfully practiced law for five of the last seven years within the jurisdiction of the United States;
  • have previously sat for and passed the bar examination in another United States jurisdiction;
  • be admitted in a United States jurisdiction that would extend a reciprocal license by motion to New Jersey lawyers;
  • have completed a course on New Jersey ethics and professionalism; and
  • met all the requirements governing qualifications for applications, such as minimum age, paying all applicable fees, fingerprinting, education, etc

Source: : RULES GOVERNING THE COURTS OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY RULE 1:24

New Jersey also requires all active attorneys in the state to complete mandatory continuing legal education (CLE).

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Costs & Fees

Registration fees for the New Jersey Bar Exam range from $675 to $1,200 and vary by filing deadline. Below is the cost breakdown:

Filing Deadline Exam Dates Fees
On-Time March 1 - March 31 $675
First-Late April 1 - April 15 $950
Final Deadline - No Exceptions April 16 - April 30 $1200

Source: : New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners - Fees & Deadlines

Cost-Saving Options

Between filing fees and exam prep costs, the journey to law practice can be expensive. The good news is that most jurisdictions offer scholarships to help pay for these costs.

For example, the New Jersey State Bar Foundation (NJSBF) awards scholarships to worthy students entering their second or third year of law school. New Jersey law school students are encouraged to apply for one or more of the thirteen annual scholarships.

New Jersey-based Sten Hall University School of Law has compiled a comprehensive list of third-party scholarships designed to help law students with the costs associated with law school, bar exam registration, and bar preparation. You may view the list here: Outside Scholarships.

Other New Jersey Bar Exam cost-savings resources include the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association (NJWLA), which has a scholarship program for students pursuing Juris Doctorate degrees. In 2022, NJWLA will award $5,000 grants to one student from each of New Jersey's law schools: Rutgers University Law School – Camden, Rutgers University Law School – Newark, and Seton Hall University Law School.

As a New Jersey Bar Exam applicant, we encourage you to explore these and other resources and apply to as many available scholarships for which you are eligible to help you with your bar exam and/or bar prep costs.

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New Jersey Bar Exam FAQs

The New Jersey Bar Exam is administered twice a year—on the first Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July.
With overall pass rates of just 43% and 58.31% for all February and July 2021 test-takers, respectively, the New Jersey Bar exam is as challenging as other UBEs.
For the most recently released results (July 2021), the overall pass rate was 58.31% for all test-takers, 71% for first-time test-takers, and 17% for repeat test-takers.
The NJ Bar Exam lasts two days, with Day 1’s MEE and MPT each lasting 3 hours and Day 2’s MBE sessions lasting 3 hours each for a total of 6 hours.
New Jersey has no set limits on the number of times applicants can sit for the NJ State Bar Exam, so if you fail the bar exam the first time, it’s not the end of the world. You can learn from your mistakes and try again.
New Jersey has reciprocity with the following states: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DC, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, VI, WA, WI, and WY.
The MEE and MPT scores scale to the MBE, with the MBE weighted at 50%, MEE at 30%, and MPT at 20%. Applicants must earn a total scaled score of 266 or higher to pass the New Jersey Bar Exam.
The New Jersey Bar Exam February 2022 exam results are TBD but likely to be released in May. The July 2021 exam results were released on November 15, 2021, and May 7, 2021, for the February 2021 exam. In general, February exam results are released in April, while July exam results are generally released in October.
No. New Jersey does not currently accept MBE scores from other jurisdictions.

Final Takeaways

Like other UBEs, the NJ State Bar Exam will be a challenging experience. But we are confident that if you prepare with the right bar prep review, you can perform well on the MBE and pass the bar exam. Good luck!

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