The New Mexico Bar Exam
Beginning in February 2016, the New Mexico Bar Examination transitioned to the National Conference of Bar Examiners' (NCBE®) Uniform Bar Examination (UBE®) format. This format consists of three components: the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE®), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT®), and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE®).
Aspiring lawyers who plan to practice in various states can take advantage of the improved score portability across the 41 participating UBE jurisdictions. This guide offers comprehensive information on the NM Bar Exam results, schedules, deadlines, fees, applications, and more.
New Mexico Bar Exam Structure
New Mexico Bar Exam Dates, Requirements, and Scheduling
You can’t pass a test you can’t take. That’s why it’s so important to familiarize yourself with eligibility requirements, filing deadlines, and the scheduling process. Below we provide a simple outline of the most important information you need to know to get started with your NM Bar Exam.
While there are 3 filing deadlines, we highly recommend filing for the New Mexico Bar Exam as early as possible to avoid progressively higher late fees. See the schedule below for details.
|Filing Periods||July 2023||February 2024||Fee|
|1st Deadline||January 20||September 20||$500|
|2nd Deadline||April 2||November 2||$700|
|Final Deadline||May 2||December 2||$1,000|
To sit for the New Mexico Bar Exam, candidates must meet the following criteria:
- Education — Must hold a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) or a JD from a non-ABA approved law school and have practice law for four out of the six years preceding the application.
- Character and Fitness — Must successfully complete a character and fitness evaluation, demonstrating their moral and ethical fitness to practice law in the state.
- Application — Must submit a completed application by the specified deadline, including all required documents and fees.
- State-Specific Law Component — Must complete and pass the New Mexico state-specific law course.
To schedule your New Mexico Bar Exam Application appointment, follow these steps:
- Create an NCBE Account and obtain an NCBE Account Number
- Upload a copy of the NCBE Character and Fitness Application
- Register for the correct New Mexico Bar Exam through the NCBE
- Upload the NCBE Acknowledgement of Complete Application Page
- Upload Authorization and Release and Certificate of Understanding Form
- Pay the required fee
- Upload a copy of a current credit report
- Upload the Laptop Release of Liability Form (if applicable)
- Upload Non-Standard Testing Accommodations Request Form (PDF) (if applicable)
New Mexico Bar Exam Cost and Fees
The application fee for the New Mexico Bar Exam is cheaper ($500) for those who apply with less than one year until they graduate from law school. Examinees who want to take a repeat exam within one year of their failed exam may do so for a fee of $100. In all other cases, the application fee is $1,000. We recommend submitting your application as soon as possible to avoid late fees.
|Less than 1 year of law school left||$500|
|Repeat exam within 1 year||$100|
|Other Application Fees|
|Admission on Motion||$2,500|
All fees are non-refundable. Remittances for fees must be made payable to the New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners.
A $500 to $1,000 application fee isn't cheap. Neither is law school. Fortunately, there are cost-saving options available to eligible candidates. The University of New Mexico (UNM), for example, offers a Bar Examination Scholarship and Loans every year to graduating third-year law students to aid their preparation for the bar exam.
UNM isn't your only option. Check out the AccessLex Institute Law School Scholarship Databank for a scholarship that may be better suited to your situation. The ABA, which offers 100+ opportunities and programs for young lawyers and law students, is also worth looking into. Even if you don’t qualify for a scholarship, there are some basic things you can do 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.
New Mexico Bar Exam Subjects and Topics
The NM Bar Exam covers a wide range of subjects and topics, from Constitutional Law to Criminal Law. Through this examination, future attorneys demonstrate their ability to analyze complex legal issues, complete entry-level legal tasks, and effectively represent their clients in New Mexico's legal system.
MEE: Testable Subjects
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. Subjects include:
Some subjects may show up together. Others may not show up at all. Until you’re sitting for the MEE, you’ll have no way of knowing what subjects you’ll confront. However, historically, some subjects have been tested more frequently than others. For instance, over the past ten years, Civil Procedure has been tested on practically every MEE, whereas Criminal Law has only been tested sporadically. Less common topics, however, may still appear alongside others.
Check out our MEE Study Guide and Prep Tips for details on planning your studies and determining what's essential so you use your time wisely. Also, check out our MEE Subject Matter Outline for in-depth explanations of MEE subjects and sub-topics.
MBE: Testable subjects
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 pilots 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 a candidate's practical lawyering skills by assessing their ability to complete real-world legal tasks in a realistic and time-pressured environment. Candidates must complete written assignments, such as drafting a memo, brief, contract, or other legal documents, using materials provided (i.e., statutes, cases, and client fact patterns).
It's important to note that these tasks take place in the fictional jurisdiction of "Franklin." Legal knowledge outside of this jurisdiction does not apply. Instead, the MPT evaluates critical thinking, problem-solving, legal analysis, factual analysis, communication, organization and management of a legal task, and the recognition and resolution of ethical dilemmas.
There’s a reason Themis + UWorld is the only bar review course that consistently publishes our pass rates.
*Aggregate exam scores for 2022 have not yet been released.
New Mexico Bar Exam results are typically released 6-8 weeks following an exam administration. Results were released on September 9, and March 31, for the July 2022 and February 2023 exams, respectively.
Our FREE course fully prepares you for MPRE success.
Yes, New Mexico offers reciprocity with the following jurisdictions.
What is the time limit for accepting a transferred UBE score in New Mexico(i.e., maximum age of the UBE score)?
You must fill out a Reasonable Testing Accommodations and submit it to your NM Bar Exam application and with all supporting documentation by the filing deadline for the exam.