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Bar Examination

I. Application process

A person seeking admission by bar examination must submit: (1) the Petition and Questionnaire for Admission to the Bar of New Hampshire, and submit all documentation requested in the petition and questionnaire; and (2) the Application for the New Hampshire Bar Examination. Please use the Packet Completion Checklist (Bar Examination) to make sure that your submission is complete. Please note that the application to take the bar examination requires you to provide an NCBE number. You may obtain this number online at the National Conference of Bar Examiners website at www.ncbex.org/ncbe-number/.

The deadline for applications to take the July bar examination is May 1. The deadline for applications to take the February bar examination is December 1 of the preceding year. The application must be received in the office of bar admissions by the deadline.

An applicant seeking to take the bar examination must submit one check or money order for $725.00 made payable to the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners.

Bar examination applicants must successfully complete the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). Bar examination applicants may take the MPRE either before or after the New Hampshire Bar Examination, but successful completion of the MPRE is a prerequisite to bar admission.

ADA Nonstandard Testing Accommodations. Applicants seeking ADA nonstandard testing accommodations must submit all required documents on or before the application deadline on forms prescribed by the Board of Bar Examiners.

II. General information about the bar examination

The bar examination is a two-day examination that is administered in February and July of each year. The February bar examination is administered on the last Wednesday of February and the preceding Tuesday. The July bar examination is administered on the last Wednesday of July and the preceding Tuesday.

New Hampshire administers the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), which is composed of three parts: the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), and the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). All components of the examination (MPT, MEE, MBE) must be taken in New Hampshire.

The three-hour morning session on Tuesday consists of two 90-minute MPT questions. The MPT, which is developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), is designed to evaluate an applicant’s ability to use fundamental lawyering skills in a realistic situation. Each MPT question is designed to be answered in one and one-half hours. Answers to the MPT questions are graded by the members of the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners.

The three-hour afternoon session on Tuesday consists of six MEE essay questions, which are also prepared by the NCBE. Each question is designed to be answered in one-half hour. Areas of law that may be covered on the MEE include the following: Business Associations (Agency and Partnership; Corporations and Limited Liability Companies), Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Family Law, Federal Civil Procedure, Real Property, Torts, Trusts and Estates (Decedents’ Estates; Trusts and Future Interests), and Uniform Commercial Code (Secured Transactions). For a list of areas of law covered on past bar examinations see MEE Subject Matter.  Some questions may include issues in more than one area of law. MEE questions are graded by members of the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners on the basis of law of general application rather than specific New Hampshire law.

Applicants may either handwrite or use their laptop computers for the MPT and MEE portions of the examination on Tuesday. Applicants will be provided with information about registering their laptop computers after their applications are submitted. Laptop registration takes place during the month prior to the examination.

The MBE is administered during two three-hour sessions on Wednesday. The MBE is a multiple-choice examination consisting of 200 questions, developed by the NCBE.: The topics include Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts.

Additional information regarding the MPT, the MEE and the MBE is available on the NCBE’s web site at www.ncbex.org.

III. Procedural Aspects of  Examination Grading

Each applicant is assigned an applicant number by the Office of Bar Admissions. Only that number appears on examination papers to identify  applicants, and  applicants are not asked or permitted to identify their examination papers in any other way. The scoring process is conducted under conditions of absolute anonymity. Until the scoring process is complete, no one involved in scoring the examinations has access to information about the applicants’ identities.

The MBE component is graded by American College Testing and the results will be returned to the Bar Examiners.

The MPT Examination is graded by members of the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners. Each MPT answer is graded  on a scale of 1 to 6.

The MEE is also  graded by members of the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners. Each of the six essay questions are weighted equally and are given a raw score on a scale of 1 to 6.

A curve is not  used in grading an MPT or MEE answer; each answer is judged individually. It is not necessary to obtain a passing grade on each MPT or MEE question, but overall performance must be adequate to contribute to an overall passing score when these scores are correlated with the applicant's MBE score.

The combined raw MPT and MEE score are scaled to the MBE score. The Bar Examiners  correlate the MPT-MEE score and MBE using the Mean and Standard Deviation method, which is the statistical method recommended by the National Conference of Bar Examiners as the most statistically accurate method. The scaled MBE and MPT-MEE scores are reported to the nearest tenth of a point. An applicant's converted MPT-MEE score is added to the applicant's MBE scaled score. The total is rounded to the nearest whole number, which constitutes the applicant's overall grade. A total score of 270 or more on a scale of 400  constitutes a passing score. The Board of Bar Examiners will recommend for admission any applicant who receives a passing score on the New Hampshire bar examination.
After scoring is completed, the Office of Bar Admissions supplies the Chair of the Board of Bar Examiners with the names of the applicants and their assigned examination numbers. To be consistent with the Board's requirement of absolute applicant anonymity during the scoring process, the Examiners will conduct no further review of MPT or MEE answers after the Office of Bar Admissions has supplied the Chair with the identity of the applicants.
The Chair of the Board of Bar Examiners notifies applicants whether they received a passing score on the bar examination and a list of passing applicants is posted on the Court’s website.

After the results are announced, unsuccessful applicants are provided with a breakdown of scores by mail.

Applicant examination papers are retained by  the Office of Bar Admissions for one year after the Examination. Unsuccessful applicants may examine their MPT and MEE answers at the Office of Bar Admissions under procedures established by the office.

IV. Bar Examination Schedule

The following schedule approximates the actual test days. Although the elapsed time for each test session is precise, the start and end times may vary.
First Day (MPT and MEE)
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration and seating
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Instructions
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 PM MPT
One-hour  lunch break
1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Instructions
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. MEE
 
Second Day (MBE)
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration and seating
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Instructions
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 PM MBE morning session
One-hour  lunch break
1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Instructions
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. MBE afternoon session
Schedules for those with ADA testing accommodations may vary from the standard schedule depending on the nature of the accommodation.