The Rhode Island Bar Exam
Structure, Topics, Dates, Cost, Scores, and Eligibility

Since February 2019, the Rhode Island Bar Exam has been using the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE®) format, which divides the exam into three components: the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE®), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT®), and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE®).

Candidates who intend to practice law in different states will benefit from the increased score portability among the 41 participating UBE jurisdictions. This resource provides all the details on the RI Bar Exam results, dates, deadlines, fees, applications, and more.

Rhode Island Bar Exam Structure

The UBE is divided into two days, each with 6 testing hours. The MPT and MEE are administered on day one, and the MBE on day two.

Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) structure and schedule

Rhode Island 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.

Exam dates

Filing Periods February 27-28, 2024 July 30-31, 2024
Attorney Deadline September 1, 2023 February 1, 2024
First-Time Taker Deadline December 1, 2023 May 1, 2024


  • Have Juris Doctorate (JD) or Bachelor of Laws (LLB)* from an American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school
  • Undergo a one-on-one character and fitness interview, which will determine whether or not further hearings are needed
  • Have earned a Multistate Professional Responsibiliy Examination (MPRE®) score of at least 80 within 5 years of your application deadline
  • Have not failed the UBE more than 5 times or more

*If you are an out-of-state lawyer who has been practicing law full-time in another jurisdiction for at least 5 of the past 10 years, you do not need to have graduated from an ABA-approved law school.


You must schedule your RI Bar Exam online. Any physical documents must be submitted to the address below:

  • Submit NCBE® Character Report Application
  • Request UBE Score Transcript be forwarded to the Clerk of the Supreme Court (if applicable)
  • Request MPRE Score Report be forwarded to the Clerk of the Supreme Court
  • Submit the Petition for Admission to the Rhode Island Bar form on RISCAP
  • Submit test accommodations request (if applicable)
Address: Licht Judicial Complex 
250 Benefit Street 
Providence, RI 02903

Rhode Island Bar Exam Cost and Fees

Application Fees

First-time taker




Repeat taker




Character and Fitness


UBE Transfer 


UBE Transfer w/ NCBE character investigation 


Payment policies

All fees are non-refundable. Payments must be made online through RISCAP when you electronically file your application.

Cost saving options

Rhode Island Bar Exam Subjects and Topics 

The RI 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.

MEE Subjects

Some MEE subjects may be tested together. Others may not be tested at all. For example, Civil Procedure has been tested on almost every MEE for the past ten years, while Criminal Law has only appeared a few times. 

Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) Subjects

Learn More

MBE 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 act as field tests for future exams. 

MBE Subjects

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MPT Tasks

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. 

Multistate Performance Test abilities tested

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Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island Bar Exam. You can register through the NCBE

Learn More

Rhode Island MPRE minimum passing score

To apply for the RI Bar Exam, you need to have earned a score of at least 80 on an MPRE exam taken within the last five years*. Send your score to the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island before you file your Bar application. 

*If you take the MPRE in November, you can send the score later but must pass to be eligible for the February bar exam. 

Rhode Island 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.

Rhode Island bar exam scoring/grading

Rhode Island's minimum passing score is 270*. 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 270 on each section to pass the RI bar exam. For example, an exceptional MBE score 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.

UBE weights

Rhode Island Bar Exam Results and Pass Rates

You'll notice that The Rhode Island 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.

Results are typically released 10 weeks after an exam administration. Below are the pass rates for the past 6 years.

Exam First Timers Repeaters Overall
Year No Of Candidates Pass Rate No. Of Candidates Pass Rate No. Of Candidates Pass Rate
2022 103 58% 20 35% 123 54%
2021 85 74% 15 53% 100 71%
2020 80 60% 31 45% 111 56%
2019 81 62% 36 42% 117 56%
2018 82 63% 33 30% 115 54%
2017 117 65% 48 40% 165 58%

Rhode Island Bar Exam Reciprocity

Rhode Island does not offer formal reciprocity. However, lawyers from other states can apply to the RI Bar without examination if they:

  • Have either been practicing law full-time or teaching law full-time for at least 5 of the last 10 years
  • Pass the character and fitness assessment
  • Take the essay part of the RI Bar Exam

What Makes the Rhode Island Bar Exam Unique?

The Rhode Island bar exam holds a few unique characteristics that set it apart from other states. Notably, unlike many other jurisdictions, Rhode Island does not allow for late filing for the bar exam. Furthermore, those who haven’t graduated from an ABA-accredited law school can take the RI Bar Exam if they meet certain specific requirements.

Rhode Island bar exam for foreigners

If you have a law degree from a foreign country and want to apply for the Rhode Island Bar Exam, you must:

  • Have earned a degree at a law school based on Legal English common law
  • Have either been practicing law full-time or teaching law full-time in a US jurisdiction for at least 5 of the last 10 years
  • Prove that your foreign law education is similar in quality to a law degree from a school accredited by the American Bar Association
  • Pass the character and fitness assessment
  • Take the essay part of the RI Bar Exam

Final Takeaways

The difference between those who fail the Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island Bar Exam.

Themis + UWorld gets you exam-ready with exam-like practice with content and questions curated by an in-house team of subject matter experts. Our in-depth answer explanations for each answer choice and industry-leading images make the hard stuff easy to understand. Here's an overview of what you'll get:

Uworld’s wide range of study tools for bar exam

Contact details of the Rhode Island State Bar

Phone Number

(401) 222-3272


[email protected]

Mailing Address  

Bar Administrator
Rhode Island Supreme Court
250 Benefit Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02903

Rhode Island Bar Exam FAQs

The Rhode Island Bar Exam consists of a total of 12 testing hours divided equally between two days.
For most, you must have graduated from an ABA-accredited law school to take the Rhode Island Bar Exam. However, there are exceptions. Please see the requirements or foreigners sections for exceptions.
The Rhode Island 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.
It costs $975 to take the RI Bar Exam. The deadlines to submit your application are May 1 and December 1 for the July and February exams, respectively.
Rhode Island allows 5 attempts to pass the UBE.
$975, the same as it costs to take the exam for the first time.
The minimum passing UBE score for Rhode Island is 270.
Rhode Island does not offer reciprocity. However, lawyers from other US jurisdictions can apply to the RI Bar without examination.
No. MBE scores may only be transferred as part of your UBE score, not on their own
You can transfer your UBE score to another jurisdiction if it allows it.
You may be admitted without examination to the Rhode Island Bar if you’ve been actively engaged in the practice of law and meet these requirements.
We recommend dedicating 400 study hours to the RI 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 Rhode Island.
The typical path to becoming a licensed attorney in Rhode Island 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 MPRE, pass the bar exam, and be approved for admission to the bar.
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