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NH Bar Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions

For additional information about admission to the New Hampshire Bar, go to the Bar Association's website and click on "About the Bar".

What examinations do I have to take to practice law in New Hampshire?

When is the New Hampshire bar exam?

What does the New Hampshire Bar Exam consist of?

Why do I have to write essays?

What happens on the day of the exam?

How are the examinations graded?

What is a passing grade?

Can I transfer my score on Multistate Bar Examination to another state?


1. What examinations must I take to practice law in New Hampshire?

        Unless you are eligible for admission by transferred UBE score in accordance with Rule 42(X), or by motion for admission without examination in accordance with Rule 42(XI), you must take the New Hampshire Bar Examination, which is offered twice a year in New Hampshire.   New Hampshire administers the Uniform Bar Examination, which consists of three parts:   the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), and the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE).   The MPT and MEE must be taken in New Hampshire.   An applicant may take the MBE portion of the bar examination in another jurisdiction and request that the MBE score be certified to New Hampshire, but only MBE scores from the same test administration will be accepted.   The New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners will not accept certification of MBE scores from prior test administrations in New Hampshire or in another jurisdiction, for use in computing overall grades.

        In addition, you must successfully complete the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).   The MPRE is developed and administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE).   It is offered several times a year at many locations throughout the United States, usually at law schools.   If you are presently enrolled in law school, consult your law school placement office for information about MPRE test locations and the examination.   If you are not presently enrolled in law school you may write for further information to:

National Conference of Bar Examiners
MPRE Applications Department
P. O. Box 4001
Iowa City, Iowa 52243

        If you wish to have your MPRE score certified to New Hampshire, designate New Hampshire as one of the jurisdictions to which your score should be certified.   The New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners has established a scaled score of 79 as the passing level of performance for the MPRE.

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2. When is the New Hampshire Bar Exam?

        The New Hampshire Bar Examination is offered twice a year, in February and July, and is administered over the course of two days.   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.

 

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3. What does the New Hampshire Bar Exam consist of?

        The examination is composed of three parts:   the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), and the Mutistate Bar Examination (MBE).   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.   MPT answers are graded by members of the Board of Bar Examiners.   The three-hour afternoon session on Tuesday consists of six MEE essay questions, also prepared by the NCBE and graded by members of the Board of Bar Examiners.   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 and graded by American College Testing.

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4. Why do I have to write essays?

        The purpose of the MEE is to give you the opportunity to demonstrate that you can think like a lawyer.   Each question provides a moderately complex set of facts from which the applicant is expected to identify issues and apply appropriate legal principles, in responding to the call of the question.   Reasoning, logic and organization, as well as substance are considered in grading your answer.   MEE responses are graded on the basis of general law and not on law specific to New Hampshire.

        Subjects tested on the MEE include agency and partnership, conflict of laws, corporations, decedents’ estates, family law, federal civil procedure, sales, secured transactions, and trusts and future interests.

        Applicants are not permitted to bring any materials to any portion of the New Hampshire Bar Examination.

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

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5. What happens on each day of the Bar Exam?

        Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. on both days. Applicants should arrive no later than 8:15 a.m. in order to complete registration formalities and get settled in their assigned exam room in time to receive instructions prior to the beginning of the examination. The following schedules are approximations of what you may experience on 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 minimum 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 minimum lunch break

1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Instructions

2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. MBE afternoon session

        At registration on the first day, each applicant will be assigned an examination number and will be assigned a seat.   During the bar examination, applicants must use their examination number on all examination papers.   Applicants will not be asked or permitted to identify their examination papers in any other way.

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6. How are examinations graded?

        The scoring process is conducted under conditions of absolute anonymity of applicants.   Until the scoring process is complete, the scorers do not know the identity of the applicants.

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

The MPT and MEE are graded by members of the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners.   Each MPT answer will be given a raw score on a scale of 12.   Each of the six MEE questions will be weighted equally and will be given a raw score on a scale of 1 to 6.

The raw MPT Examination and MEE scores will be combined, producing a raw score with a maximum of 60.   The Board of Bar Examiners will then correlate the MPT-MEE score and MBE by using the Mean and Standard Deviation method, a statistical method which is recommended by the National Conference of Bar Examiners as the most statistically accurate method of converting essay scores to the MBE scale.   The scaled MBE and MPT-MEE scores will be reported to the nearest tenth of a point.   An applicant's converted MPT-MEE score will be added to the applicant's MBE scaled score.   The total will be rounded to the nearest whole number, which will constitute the applicant's overall grade.

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7. What is a passing grade?

        Overall passing grade on the New Hampshire Bar Examination is 270 on a scale of 400.   Successful applicants will be notified that they passed the bar examination, but will not be given their scores.

        Unsuccessful applicants will be provided with a breakdown of scores by mail, approximately a month after the results are announced.   Applicant MPT and MEE answers will be retained by the Office of Bar Admissions for one year after the bar examination.   Unsuccessful applicants may examine their essay papers at the Office of Bar Admissions under procedures established by the Bar Admissions Administrator.

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8. Can I transfer my score on Multistate Bar Examination to another state?

       Yes.   If you wish to have your score on the MBE portion of the bar examination sent to another jurisdiction for a concurrent examination, you must arrange for the Office of Bar Admissions to report your score to that jurisdiction.   Send to the Office of Bar Admissions, 4 Chenell Dr., Suite 102, Concord, N.H., 03301, the score transfer form and a $25.00 fee made payable to the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners. You must submit your request prior to the bar examination.  

        After score results have been announced, two other score reporting services are available: (1) transfer of an applicant's raw and scaled MBE score from New Hampshire directly to another jurisdiction and (2) informing an applicant whether the MBE score previously earned in New Hampshire meets the requirements for admission in another jurisdiction. New Hampshire will not release directly to an applicant the precise MBE score achieved in New Hampshire. For the specific MBE score requirements of other jurisdictions, you must contact those jurisdictions directly. There is a $25.00 fee for each jurisdiction to which the score will be reported, and a $25.00 fee for each score advisory. Payment by check or money order made payable to the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners must be included with the request form, and sent to the Office of Bar Admissions, 4 Chenell Drive, Suite 102, Concord, N.H. 03301.

  The MBE score transfer and score advisory request form is available here.

        Before the results of the examinations are released, applicants must NOT include any reference to their applicant numbers in making requests for score reports, as premature revelation of an applicant number may breach an applicant's anonymity and result in disqualification.

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