Bar Exams

Each state offers its bar exam during the last week of July and the last week of February. Most bar exams follow a similar format: one day is devoted to the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), a six-hour, 200-question, multiple-choice exam covering seven subjects (Torts, Property, Contracts, Constitutional Law, Evidence, Federal Civil Procedure, and Criminal Law), and essay questions require written answers.

Pitt Law is pleased to offer the PassTheBar program, a series of classes designed to supplement the standard commercial preparation courses for those studying for the bar in Pittsburgh.

Pitt Law also offers Writing for Results free of charge to third-year JD students and interested LLM students during the academic year and for those remaining in Pittsburgh over the summer.

Bar Admissions

Open MPRE (Ethics Exam) Configuration Options

The government must license one to join the legal profession and work as a lawyer in the United States. In the U.S., each state or territory regulates admission to practice law, but the federal government does not license lawyers. Most regulate the admission of new attorneys by requiring the following:

  • graduation from a law school (in most states and passage of a state-administered bar exam
  • passage of an ethics exam and satisfaction of standards of character and fitness.

Attorneys already admitted to one or more states may seek admission to another state. Depending on the states involved, this can be done by motion or by taking the new state's bar exam and rules.

MPRE (Ethics Exam)

The Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) is a multiple-choice exam testing applicants' knowledge of the rules of professional responsibility governing lawyers. Most questions seek answers based on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct or the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct. The National Conference of Bar Examiners produces the MPRE, and 53 jurisdictions require applicants to pass it. 

Character and Fitness

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to contact the jurisdiction where they seek admission to determine the requirements. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.