State-by-State Bar Exam Information: Michigan

Bar Information


Key Dates

When is the Bar Exam: 

The last Tue and Wed of February and July

By when is the application for the July exam due?: 

March 1st (Late applications accepted until may 15th with extra fee)

Exam Details

What tests and types of questions are on the bar exam?: 

Written: 15 state essay questions prepared by the state's Board of Law Examiners

Multiple-choice: The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)

What subjects are tested: 

The essays test on Real and Personal Property; Wills and Trusts; Contracts; Constitutional Law; Criminal Law and Procedure; Corporations, Partnerships, and Agency; Evidence; Creditor's Rights, including mortgages, garnishments and attachments; Practice and Procedure (both trial and appellate and both state and federal); Equity; Torts (including no-fault); UCC articles on sales, negotiable instruments, and secured transactions; Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct; Domestic Relations; Conflict of Laws; and Worker's Compensation.

The MBE tests Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts.

Is it possible to take the written portions of the exam on a laptop computer?: 
Are past exam questions and sample answers available?: 

Yes. $10 per exam; request must be made in writing.

How is the exam scored?: 

Score = (4/3 * raw essay total + MBE score)/2.  Passing score is 135


What was the first-time taker pass rate for the most recent July bar exam? : 

2012: 64%; 2011: 81%

What was the overall pass rate for all takers of the most recent July bar exam?: 

2012: 57%; 2011: 76%


Can MBE scores be transferred from other jurisdictions?: 

Yes, but only from states with which Michigan has reciprocity and from MBEs within three years where the applicant passed the entire bar exam.

Can applicants already admitted in another state gain admission without taking the bar exam?: 

Yes, but only if the applicant has practiced law for three of the previous five years. Please consult the jurisdiction directly for more detailed information on admission by motion.

The information for Michigan is drawn from the Michigan Board of Law Examiners' response to our survey and its website, as well as the State Bar of Michigan's website ( and the National Conference of Bar Examiners' Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements and annual statistical report.