Montana State Bar Exam

Because the National Conference of Bar Examiners does not release multiple-choice questions from the MBE, bar review companies construct questions that resemble MBE questions, and our library has several bar review books in the KF 303 area.

Starting in July, 2013, students who sit for the Montana Bar Exam will be taking the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE).[1]  The UBE has three components:

  • Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) (30% of the final score);
  • Multistate Performance Test (MPT) (20% of the final score); and
  • Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) (50% of the final score). 

The UBE is given over two days during the last week of February and July:  the MEE and MPT on Tuesday; and the MBE on Wednesday. 

Montana is a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) state. Bar examinees must achieve a minimum score of 266 (out of a possible 400 points). Previously, Montana’s passing score was 270. Applicants who have taken the UBE in other jurisdictions may transfer their scores into Montana for up to three years after taking the bar exam, as long as the score is at least 266. Applicants who took the bar exam in July 2013 have until Nov. 1, 2016 to transfer with a passing score of 266. All applicants to the Montana Bar must take the one-day Montana Law Seminar.[2]

Additional information can be found on the State Bar of Montana's bar admission page.

The MEE consists of six thirty-minute essay questions, each testing one or more of the following subjects:

  • Business Associations (Agency & Partnership; Corporations & LLCs)
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law & Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Federal Civil Procedure
  • Real Property
  • Torts
  • Trusts & Estates (Decedents’ Estates; Trusts & Future Interests)
  • Uniform Commercial Code (Article 2 and Secured Transactions)

The NCBE provides outlines for each MEE subject matter area on its website.[3]  The MEE questions from July 2012 are also available on the NCBE website.[4]

The MPT consists of two ninety-minute tasks designed to test fundamental lawyering skills in realistic situations.  Each MPT task has a “File” and a “Library.”  The File contains an assignment memo and source documents with all the relevant facts (e.g., pleadings, correspondence, transcripts of interviews and depositions); the Library contains the law necessary to accomplish the assigned task (e.g., cases, statutes, regulations).  The MPT tasks most often tested are writing a client letter, a persuasive argument, or an objective memo.  The NCBE provides summaries of MPT questions from 2004 on its website, and it also provides electronic copies of the actual MPT files from 1998-2007.[5]

The MBE consists of 200 multiple choice questions; only 190 of the questions are scored.  The exam is administered in two three-hour sessions with 100 questions each.  A student taking the MBE has about 1.8 minutes to answer each question; the total score is the number of questions answered correctly, so students should not skip questions.  The scored questions are distributed among the subject matters in the following way:

  • Civil Procedure - 27 questions
  • Constitutional Law – 27 questions
  • Contracts – 28 questions
  • Criminal Law & Procedure – 27 questions
  • Evidence – 27 questions
  • Real Property – 27 questions
  • Torts – 27 questions

 [1]See Or., In re Petition to Adopt Uniform Bar Examinationhttp://www.montanabar.org/associations/7121/files/2012-07-03%20Revision%20of%20Rules%20for%20Admission%20and%20Charac%20and%20Fitness.pdf (Mont. July 3, 2012) (No. AF 11-0244).

 [2] See NCBE, Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements, at 32 “Chart 10,” http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Comp-Guide/CompGuide.pdf (2013).  You can find a map of current UBE jurisdictions at http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files/UBE/2013AdoptionoftheUBE011813.jpg

 [4] NCBE, July 2012 MEE Questionshttp://www.ncbex.org/multistate-tests/mee/mee-questions/.