Bar Exam Preparation

No one wants to sit for the Bar more than once. It's expensive. It's stressful. It's not fun.

Massachusetts Adopts the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE)

Massachusetts is a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) jurisdiction. The Massachusetts UBE passing score is 270. The exam is comprised of the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), and the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). Massachusetts also requires a passing score on the Massachusetts Law Component exam as a condition of bar admission.

UBE scores earned in another UBE jurisdiction may be transferred for admission in Massachusetts within 36 months of sitting for the exam.

The Massachusetts Law Component (MLC)

The MLC is a multiple-choice test based on substantial outlines provided covering essential highlights and key distinctions of Massachusetts law and procedure. The outlines will include summaries on 9 areas of law: Access to Justice; Anti-Discrimination Law; Business Organizations; Civil Procedure; Consumer Protection, G.L. c. 93A; Criminal Law and Procedure; Domestic Relations; Estates and Wills; and Evidence.

Applicants who file a petition for admission to Massachusetts after March 1, 2018 will be required to complete the MLC prior to becoming admitted to the bar in Massachusetts.

Applicants will be sent an email with the link and instructions to download and review the MLC outlines. Once the outlines have been downloaded, Applicants will receive a link for directions to access and complete the exam. The MLC is an online, pass or fail exam. The MLC is untimed and open-book. There is no fee to take the MLC. Applicants may take the exam several times, but must pass to complete the requirement prior to admission.

Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE)

    The MPRE is administered three time a year:

    • The March Exam has a January registration deadline
    • The August Exam has a June registration deadline
    • The November Exam has an September registration deadline

    See specific dates and additional information.

    Bar Exam Dates

    Massachusetts Bar

    The Massachusetts Bar Exam is administered twice a year:

    • The last Tuesday and Wednesday in February, and
    • The last Tuesday and Wednesday in July

    See specific dates and additional information.

    More Information

    Note: Prior to filing an application to sit for the Massachusetts Bar Exam each applicant shall have passed the MPRE with a scaled score of 85 or higher.

    Course Required of New Attorneys

    All attorneys newly admitted to practice in Massachusetts are required to completed a one-day, in-person course on professionalism for new lawyers (SJC R. 3:16, effective Sept. 1, 2013). Attorneys must complete the course within 18 months of their date of admission to the bar.
    More information

    Five-Point Plan to Passing the Bar

    Suffolk’s five-point plan gives students a good chance to succeed the first time.

    1. Take the right courses during law school

    2. Find out what you don't know by taking the diagnostic mini-bar exam

    3. Take a bar prep course before graduation. Suffolk offers all students the opportunity to take a for-credit Advanced Survey course in their final year of law school.  This course introduces students to the substance and skill necessary to succeed on all three components of the UBE.  Students in their final semester of law school also have access to Barbri’s Early Start, a strongly recommended introduction to the post-graduation bar review course.  

    4. After graduation, complete your Barbri bar review course (included in your JD tuition). Use SeRiouS to help memorize black letter law (free for Suffolk Law. Sign-up under "subscribed schools" using your email).

    5. Devote 6-8 weeks to full-time bar study prep

    Take Courses in Subjects Tested on the Bar Exam

    Massachusetts administers the Uniform Bar Exam. State specific law is not tested on the UBE.

    The Guided Curriculum

    The “Guided Curriculum” is a comprehensive, upper-level course of study covering topics and skills that are tested on the bar exam. The Guided Curriculum is required for some students but is recommended for any student desiring a structured course of study providing exposure to bar-tested subjects. Courses in the Guided Curriculum can be taken in any order, except that Advanced Survey should be taken in the student’s final year.

    1. Evidence;
    2. Trusts and Estates;
    3. Business Entity Fundamentals;
    4. Commercial Law Survey, Commercial Sales, or Secured Transactions;
    5. Criminal Procedure;
    6. Family Law; and
    7. Advanced Survey of Civil Procedure, Criminal Law & Property or Advanced Survey of Contracts, Evidence & Torts

    The Diagnostic Exam

    All students are required to take and achieve a minimum passing score on the diagnostic before graduating from the law school. Students entering Suffolk May 2021 or after will be required to take the Diagnostic immediately following their 1L year (2L year for students in the evening division). Taking the exam after completion of the 1L curriculum is optimal because it will allow students to assess their strengths and weaknesses when they still have ample time to build on those strengths and correct their weaknesses.

    Commercial Bar Review Courses

    Students who entered Suffolk Law prior to the Fall of 2016 are eligible to enroll in BARBRI at a discounted rate, but must contact the company to register. For more information about enrolling and receiving the Suffolk Law discount, please contact BARBRI’s Director of Legal Education, Daniel Bredemus or Associate Dean Patrick Shin.

    For more information about Suffolk's Bar resources and programs, please contact:

    Professor Sabrina DeFabritiis
    Director of Bar Programs and Initiatives
    Phone: 617-573-8108
    Email: [email protected]