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.
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||-|
Structure & Subjects
The following MBE subjects will be tested on the New Jersey Bar Exam:
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law/Procedure
- Federal Civil Procedure
- Real Property
You may find a complete list of subjects and subtopics here: MBE Subject Matter Outline.
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.
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 ScoringTo 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|
|July 2021||59%||71%||17%||November 15, 2021|
|February 2021||43%||N/A||N/A||May 7, 2021|
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:
- RULE 1:24. Bar Examinations; Qualifications For Admission To Examination
- RULE 1:27. Admission To Practice
- RULE 1:29. Certificates Of Admission And Good Standing; Change Of Name; Confirmatory Certificates
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
New Jersey also requires all active attorneys in the state to complete mandatory continuing legal education (CLE).
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|
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.
New Jersey Bar Exam FAQs
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