The Utah Bar Exam
Structure, Topics, Dates, Cost, Scores, and Eligibility

The Utah Bar Examination adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE®) format in February 2013. The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE®) developed the UBE to assess a candidate's lawyering skills and legal knowledge. It consists of three components: the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE®), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT®), and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE®).

Candidates who may want to practice law in different states will find the increased score portability among the 41 participating UBE jurisdictions advantageous. Below, you'll find everything you need to know about the Utah Bar Exam, including pass rates, important dates, deadlines, fees, application instructions, eligibility requirements, and more.

Utah Bar Exam Structure

The writing portion of the UBE (MPT/MEE) is administered on the first day and the MBE on the second. Each day consists of 6 testing hours and is broken down as follows:

UBE Multistate Bar Exam Structure

Utah Bar Exam Dates, Requirements, and Scheduling

You can't pass an exam that you don't take. That's why marking the filing dates on your calendar and reviewing eligibility requirements is essential. Gathering the proper documentation and submitting your application early can save you hundreds of dollars and a ton of stress. Check out all the details below.

Exam Dates

The Utah Bar Exam is administered on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. Applications, forms, and all required supplementary documentation must be submitted electronically by the end of the day (11:59:59 pm MDT) of the appropriate filing deadline. If the deadline is on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be moved to the first following business day. Any hard copies of forms or documents must be delivered (not just postmarked) to the Bar's office by close of business on the appropriate filing deadline.

If you fail the Utah Bar Exam and wish to apply for the following administration, you must file a different application according to different submission deadlines. You will be notified of the deadline when scores are released.

Filing Dates Feb. 27-28, 2024 July 30-31, 2024 Fee
Application Opens August 1, 2023 January 1, 2023 N/A
Timely Filing October 1, 2023 March 1, 2024 $550
Late Filing October 15, 2023 March 15, 2024 +$100
Timely Filing November 1, 2023 April 1, 2024 +$300

Requirements

To sit for the Utah Bar Exam, you must have a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from an American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited law school. You must also be a US citizen, a permanent resident, or otherwise authorized to work in the US. Additionally, all applicants must pass a character and fitness evaluation. If you have not graduated from a law school accredited by the ABA, you can still take the Utah Bar Exam if you meet the following two requirements:

  1. Graduated from a state-accredited law school with a curriculum deemed equivalent to an ABA-approved law school and not based on correspondence or online study.
  2. Have been practicing law lawfully for at least 10 of the 11 years preceding application submission.

Scheduling

Before you begin the scheduling process, review the requirements carefully, then follow these steps:

  1. Register for an account on the Admissions website.
  2. Review required application materials using the "Browse Forms" link on the application page.
  3. Select the "Apply" button on the applicable application type (e.g., Student, Attorney, etc.) and complete the application.
  4. Complete The Character and Fitness Questionnaire.
  5. Upload all required forms and documentation (e.g., court records, police reports, financial or tax records, or education or employment disciplinary records).
  6. Submit your application and pay the application fee through the Admissions website.
  7. Request a Character and Fitness Report from the NCBE.
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Utah Bar Exam Cost and Fees

Costs and fees associated with the Utah Bar Exam range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on your situation. The easiest way to save money is to apply before the timely filing deadline. Individuals applying for Admission on Motion or UBE Score Transfer can also find associated fees below.

Application Fees
Student $550
Attorneys $850
Disbarred Attorney $5,000
Military Spouse $425
Late Fees
Late Filing +$100
Final Filing +$300
Other Application Fees
Admission on Motion $850
UBE Score Transfer (Students) $550
UBE Score Transfer (Attorneys) $850
House Counsel $850
Foreign Legal $850
Seeking Readmission after Resignations $1,000
Miscellaneous Fees
Laptop Computer Use $200
Incomplete Application Fee Up to $300
Document Verification $25

Payment Policies

The Utah Bar Exam fee can be paid via personal check, money order, or credit card (Visa or Mastercard). Credit card payments must be made online, and checks must be made out to "Utah State Bar." Fees are non-refundable.

Cost-Saving Options

Between law school and Utah Bar Exam application fees, becoming an attorney isn't cheap. Fortunately, there are cost-saving options available to eligible individuals. For example, The Utah Minority Bar Association offers $1,000-$8,650 scholarships to students at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University every year, and The University of Utah offers merit-based scholarships to freshmen.

You can also try browsing the AccessLex Institute Law School Scholarship Databank for options better suited to you. You can also check out the ABA, which offers 100+ opportunities and programs for young lawyers and law students. Even if you can't obtain 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.

Utah Bar Exam Subjects and Topics

The UT 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: 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. MEE subjects include:

Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) Subjects

Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) Subjects

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. 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.

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 just to imagine that they are all just as important. MBE subjects are as follows:

Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) Subjects

Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) Subjects

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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A licensed attorney Themis essay grader looking at a Themis student’s MEE answer.

Utah 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 American Bar Association's (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Candidates must pass the MPRE before being admitted to the Utah Bar and can register through the NCBE.

Utah MPRE Minimum Passing Score

Utah, along with California, has the highest MPRE minimum passing score of 86. 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.

Utah Bar Exam Scoring, Results, and Pass Rates

You must achieve a minimum score of 270 out of 400 for admission to the Utah 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 UT 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.

Utah Bar scoring percentages

Note that 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.

Results and Pass Rates

You'll notice that The Utah Bar Exam's repeater pass rates are substantially lower than the first-timer pass rates. This discrepancy between first-timer and repeater pass rates is common across all jurisdictions and is likely due to the fact that many who fail their first bar exam don't change the way they study.

Exam Overall
Pass Rate
First-Timer
Pass Rate
Repeater
Pass Rate
Results
Release Date
July 2023 92% 94% 73% September 14
Feb. 2023 65% 74% 41% April 11

Here are the annual pass rates for the Utah Bar Exam since 2017 divided into first-time examinees and repeaters:

Exam First Timers Repeaters Overall
Year No Of
Candidates
Pass Rate No. Of
Candidates
Pass Rate No. Of
Candidates
Pass Rate
2022 361 89% 36 19% 352 82%
2021 261 90% 45 36% 306 82%
2020 102 78% 36 28% 138 65%
2019 262 86% 65 48% 327 78%
2018 293 84% 65 32% 358 74%
2017 322 83% 75 48% 397 76%

Utah Bar Exam results are typically released 8 weeks following an exam administration. Results were released on April 11, 2023, and September 14, 2023, for the February 2023 and July 2023 exams, respectively.

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Utah Bar Exam Reciprocity

Utah allows for admission on motion (reciprocity) as long as the applicant meets the following requirements:

  • Currently licensed and in good standing in another jurisdiction.
  • Graduated with a JD from an ABA-accredited law school.
  • Successfully completed the MPRE.
  • Actively practiced law in another jurisdiction for 3 of the past 5 years or has been engaged in full-time teaching of law as a professor at an approved law school.
  • Is of good moral character and satisfies the requirements of Rule 14-708.
  • Is licensed by a US jurisdiction that allows the admission of licensed Utah lawyers under similar terms and conditions.

All required Admission on Motion forms can be found online and must be submitted to the Utah State Bar Office of Bar Admissions. Utah has reciprocity agreements with the following jurisdictions:

States that have a reciprocity agreement with Utah

What Makes the Utah Bar Exam Unique?

Active, new admittees with less than 2 years of legal practice must complete a mandatory new lawyer training program (NLTP) within the first year of practice. New lawyers must also attend the New Lawyer Ethics Program, which is in the spring and fall every year, and receive 12 NLCLE credits from the NLTP in addition to their 12 MCLE hours.

Utah Bar Exam for Foreigners

Foreigners may take the Utah Bar Exam if they hold a law degree from an English common-law jurisdiction and meet the following two requirements:

  1. Have been admitted and practiced law for at least two years in a common-law jurisdiction.
  2. Have completed 24 semester hours of coursework at a law school approved by the ABA.

Final Takeaways

The difference between those who fail the Utah 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 Utah Bar Exam.

Themis + UWorld get 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:

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Contact Details of the Utah State Bar

If you wish to contact the Utah State Bar Bar Operations & Admissions with inquiries regarding the Utah Bar Exam, please see the details below. Hours of operation are 9 am - 5 pm MDT, Monday-Friday.

Medium Info
Phone Number (801) 531-9077
Email [email protected]
Mailing Address 645 South 200 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Utah Bar Exam FAQs

The Utah Bar Exam consists of a total of 12 testing hours divided equally between two days.
You must have graduated from an ABA-accredited law school to take the Utah Bar Exam.
The Utah 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 deadline to file your Utah Bar Exam application is March 1, 2024, for the July 2024 exam and October 1, 2023, for the February 2024 exam. The application fee is $550. However, fees increase for applications submitted after the timely filing deadline but before the final filing deadline.
The limit on the number of attempts to earn a passing UBE score is 6.
It costs $550 for non-attorneys to retake the Utah Bar Exam, and $850 for attorneys.
The minimum passing UBE score is 270 for Utah.
Utah does not accept MBE score transfers from other jurisdictions.
You can transfer your UBE score to another jurisdiction so long as the jurisdiction allows it.

You may be admitted without examination to the Utah Bar if you’ve been actively engaged in the practice of law and meet these requirements.

We recommend dedicating 400 study hours to the UT Bar Exam. Most students begin studying 8-10 prior to 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 Utah.
To become a licensed attorney in Utah, you must earn an undergraduate degree, pass the LSAT, earn a JD from an ABA-accredited law school or Utah-approved law school, be deemed of good moral character and fitness, pass the bar exam, and be approved for admission to the bar.

Fill out and submit the proper Test Accommodation Request Forms. Qualified applicants with a documented disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must submit the application with all supporting documentation by the filing deadline for the exam.

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