The Ohio Bar Exam
Ohio Bar Exam Dates, Requirements, and Scheduling
Aside from saving you stress, preparing your application for the Ohio Bar Exam and submitting it before the first filing deadline will also save you hundreds of dollars. See below for important deadlines, dates, and fees.
Ohio is a two-application state. Therefore, you must submit an Application to Register as a Candidate for Admission before November 15 in your second year of law school. If you miss this date, you'll have to file for an additional fee before the late filing deadline.
|Application to Register as a Candidate for the Ohio Bar Exam - 2023/2024|
|Filing Periods||July 25-26 , 2023||February 27-28, 2024||Fee|
|Deadline||November 15 of second
year of law school
|November 15 of second
year of law school
|January 15, 2023||August 15, 2023||$275|
Next, you must submit your application to take the bar examination. In Ohio, you can submit your application immediately following the end of the previous bar exam. For example, applications for the February exam open the day after the second day of the July exam, and vice versa.
|Application to take the Ohio Bar Exam - 2023/2024|
|Filing Periods||July 25-26, 2023||February 27-28, 2024||Fee|
|February 23 - April 1, 2023||July 27 - November 1, 2023||$452|
|April 2 - May 10, 2023||November 2 - December
*July 2024 exam deadlines are TBD. We will release this information when it becomes available. However, we can assume that the filing periods will be at least somewhat similar.
To sit for the Ohio Bar Exam, applicants must be at least 21 years old and have earned a Juris Doctorate degree (JD) or LL.B from an American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school. Ohio is a two-application state meaning that applicants must submit an Application to Register as a Candidate for admission to the Practice of Law in Ohio by November 15 of their second year in law school or by the late filing deadline (for an additional fee). This registration application is in addition to the application to sit for the bar exam.
Ohio also requires that students have at least one CLE hour on substance abuse prior to sitting for the bar exam. (Certificate must be filed 30 days before the exam). This is unique to Ohio. Applicants typically do this through their law school, but if they didn't go to law school in Ohio, they will need to do it through a CLE provider.
You can schedule your Ohio Bar Exam when you apply. The Supreme Court of Ohio requires bar examinees to submit two applications—an Application to Register as a Candidate and an Application to take the bar examination. All applications must be submitted through the Bar Admissions Portal. To apply, you must submit the following:
|Application to Register as a Candidate for Admission||$75|
|Application to Take the Bar Exam||$452|
|Application for Re-Examination||$452|
|Application for Admission without Examination||$1,500|
|UBE Score Transfer||$750|
|Foreign Education Evaluation||$150|
|February Bar Exam|
|Registration Filed b/w Nov 16 – Aug 15||$200|
|Filed b/w Nov 2 – Dec 10||$100|
|July Bar Exam|
|Registration Filed b/w Nov 16 – Jan 15||$200|
|Filed b/w April 2 – May 10||$100|
|Copy of Previously Filed Application||$10|
|Certification of MBE Scores||$10|
|Booklet of Bar Exam Question and Selected Answers||$10|
|Certified Copy of Previously Filed Application||$15|
|Copies of Applicant’s Exam Answers||$10|
All application fees are non-refundable and must be paid online through the Bar Admissions Portal when you submit your applications. Applicants who file late must pay an additional fee.
No matter the jurisdiction, pursuing a legal education is expensive, including bar exam/application costs. For Ohio students, we recommend the following cost-saving options to help you with the fees associated with the Ohio Bar Exam:
- The Ohio State Bar Association (OBSA) offers various awards and scholarships to law students enrolled in an Ohio law school. For a complete list, check out the OSBA’s Awards & Scholarships web page.
- Students attending accredited law schools in Ohio should also check with their university’s financial aid department for available scholarships and other resources.
- The American Bar Association (ABA) maintains a list of scholarships and financial aid on its website for various student groups worth exploring.
Ohio Bar Exam Subjects and Topics
The OH bar exam tests an examinee's ability to analyze and reason alongside their knowledge and understanding of fundamental legal principles. Furthermore, since Ohio has adopted the UBE, a successful exam score represents one's competency and readiness to practice law in the 40 other participating jurisdictions.
The MBE is administered in two three-hour sessions on Wednesday (Day 2) of the bar exam. It is scored on a 200-point scale and presents candidates with 200 multiple-choice questions spanning the following subjects, broken down into 25 questions per subject:
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law/Procedure
- Federal Civil Procedure
- Real Property
- 25 Pretest Questions for Future Bar Exams (unscored)
The MEE consists of six essay questions. Ultimately, these questions test your ability to think like a lawyer, using logical reasoning to arrive at evidence-based conclusions from the details and facts in a case and:
- analyze the facts of a hypothetical case,
- distinguish between relevant and irrelevant materials to the case,
- articulate in writing a rational analysis of the relevant legal issues presented in a well-reasoned essay, and
- show an understanding of the legal principles pertinent to the resolution of the case based on the facts presented
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.
- Business Associations
- Civil Procedure
- Conflict of Laws
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law and Procedure
- Family Law
- Real Property
- Secured Transactions
- Trusts and Estates
Check out our MEE Subject Matter Outline for detailed explanations of MEE subjects and sub-topics.
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 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 the lowest possible score.
Pass the MBE Your First Time.
Ohio Bar Exam Pass Rates
As is typical with bar exams across the country, the Ohio 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||First-Timer Pass Rate||Repeater Pass Rate||Results Release Date|
|Feb. 2023||42%||60%||31%||April 28, 2023|
|July 2022||72%||80%||21%||October 28, 2022|
|Feb. 2022||47%||67%||32%||April 29, 2022|
Below are the annual pass rates for the Ohio Bar Exam since 2016 divided into first-time examinees and repeaters:
Practice. Practice. Practice. See what the best practice questions truly look like.
Anyone wishing to retake the Ohio Bar Exam must submit the Re-Examination Application and pay the $452 application fee. If filing late, there is an additional $100 fee. If four bar exams have passed since the last time a retaker attempted the Ohio Bar Exam, that applicant must resubmit all the applications and fees required for a first-time test taker along with the Re-Examination Application.
Please contact the Office of Bar Admissions at the Supreme Court of Ohio with any questions at 614-387-9340.
Ohio’s admission without bar examination (or admission on motion) is not based on bar reciprocity. However, attorneys practicing law in another jurisdiction may be eligible for admission to the Ohio Bar without examination if and only if the Supreme Court approves their applications.
Ohio will accept admission on motion based on score transfer if the applicant:
- meets the general requirements for admission to practice law in Ohio;
- has passed a bar exam and been admitted as an attorney in some other state or the District of Columbia;
- has been practicing law full-time for at least 5 of the past 10 years immediately preceding the application for admission; and has not failed an Ohio bar exam.
All applicants must also have demonstrated that they possess the required character, fitness, and moral qualifications for admission as determined by the Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness.
What is the time limit for accepting a transferred UBE score in Ohio (ie, maximum age of the UBE score)?
Ohio will accept UBE scores from other UBE states for five years post-examination. After five years, eligible attorneys from another state may apply for admission without taking the Ohio Bar Exam.
To request special accommodations for the Ohio Bar Exam, you must submit a Statement of Applicant, a Certificate of Medical or Psychological Authority, and a Certificate of Accommodations by than April 1 or May 10 (late filing deadline) for the July exam, and November 1 or December 10 (late filing deadline) for the February exam (details here).