State-by-State Bar Exam Information: West Virginia

Bar Information

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Key Dates

When is the Bar Exam: 

The last Tue and Wed of February and July

When is the application for the July exam made available: 

The application is always available on the West Virginia Supreme Court's website

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

April 1st: $375 Student filing fee 

$500 Admitted Attorney filing fee

April 2- May 1: Late filing fee of additional $150

Exam Details

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

Written: Six essays drawn from the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), which are to be answered according to West Virginia law; and two performance tests drawn from the Multistate Performance Test (MPT)

Multiple-choice: The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)

What subjects are tested: 

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

The state essay questions can cover Business Associations, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Family Law, Federal Civil Procedure, Real Property, Torts, Trusts & Estates, and UCC, Articles 3 and 9.

Is it possible to take the written portions of the exam on a laptop computer?: 

Applicants may use their own Windows or Mac laptops to complete their essay responses during the first day of the examination. Special software is required.

Are past exam questions and sample answers available?: 

Because West Virginia uses only multistate tests, past questions are available only from the National Conference of Bar Examiners at www.ncbex.org.

How is the exam scored?: 

The written portion (MEE, 30%, and MPT, 20%) and the multiple-choice portion (MBE) are weighted equally at 50% of the overall score.

Statistics

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

2012: 84%; 2011: 82%

2010: 79%

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

2012: 76%; 2011: 75%

2010: 65%

Reciprocity

Can MBE scores be transferred from other jurisdictions?: 

Yes, if taken within 13 months and part of a successful 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 five of the last seven years in a jurisdiction with which West Virginia has reciprocity.  Please consult the jurisdiction directly for more detailed information on admission by motion.

The information for West Virginia comes from its Board of Law Examiners' website and response to our survey, as well as the National Conference of Bar Examiners' Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements  and annual statistical report.