All applicants are responsible for reading and complying with the Maine Bar Admission Rules (MBAR). The following questions and answers are provided your convenience. Questions are listed in order of the frequency with which they are asked. The index will help you find answers to questions according to specific topics.
Maine has a provision for reciprocal admission for attorneys admitted in 37 other jurisdictions. For more information, see Maine Bar Admission Rule 11A and the list of Reciprocal Jurisdictions, click here
You may download the appropriate Application Procedures, Application Instructions and Application Form(s) from this web site. If you want the Board to mail you an application, you must first write to the Board and obtain a Request for Application Form. You must then fill out the Request form and mail it back to the Board. Back to Index.
Applications must be received at the Maine Board of Bar Examiners between March 15 and May 20 for the July exam, and between October 15 and December 20 for the February examination. MBAR 5(a)(1)&(2). If the deadline falls on a weekend, application must be received by the Monday thereafter. Back to Index.
Starting with the July 2015 exam, if you have been admitted in any jurisdiction for more than one year, the fee is $650.00, plus a fee of $375.00 (this latter fee varies, depending upon the NCBE application required), paid directly to NCBE for a separate NCBE application. All other bar exam applicants must pay a total fee of $600.00. MBAR 6(b). If your application is not received by the Board by the deadline, the Board will only accept the application upon payment of a late fee of $150 if the Board receives the application within seven calendar days of the deadline. If the Board receives the application between the seventh and fourteenth calendar days after the deadline, the Board will only accept the application upon payment of a late fee of $300. No applications will be accepted more than fourteen days following the application deadline.
As of October 14, 2014, applications for Reciprocal Admission pursuant to Maine Bar Admission Rule 11A must be accompanied by a fee of $900.00, plus a fee of $375.00 (this latter fee varies, depending upon NCBE the application required), paid directly to NCBE for a separate NCBE application. Please note that all application fees may be paid by personal check, cashier’s check, treasurer’s check, or money order payable to the Board of Bar Examiners. Back to Index.
All payments must be made by personal check, cashier’s check, certified check, or money order payable to the Board of Bar Examiners. MBAR 6(a)&(c). Back to Index.
Fees are nonrefundable. MBAR 6(d). Back to Index.
If you do not take the examination, the Board will issue a credit for the examination fee paid. The Board will carry this credit for the next four (4) administrations of the examination. Applicants must submit an Application for Reexamination and pay an administrative fee of $100.00 in order to use the credit balance. MBAR Rule 6(d).
If the fee increases between the exam from which you withdrew and the one for which you re-apply, you must pay the difference in the fee. Back to Index.
The exams are given the last Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July of each year. MBAR 10(b).
The 2015 exam dates are: February 24 & 25, 2015 and July 28 & 29, 2015.
The 2016 exam dates are February 23 & 24, 2016 and July 26 & 27, 2016. Back to Index.
All examinations will be administered at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring Street, Portland, Maine. 207-775-2311. Back to Index.
Day One of the exam consists of essay questions and may include the Multistate Performance Test. The topics covered by the exam are listed in Maine Bar Admission Rule 10(d).
Day Two of the exam consists of the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). Back to Index.
The passing score is a scaled score of 138. The score is calculated by taking 4/11 of the applicant’s MBE scaled score and 7/ll of the applicant’s converted essay score from Day 1. MBAR 10(g)(1). Back to Index.
Yes. The Maine Board of Bar Examiners offers two types of modified examinations, which are described in MBAR 10(e).
Under MBAR 10(e)(1)(i), if an attorney has been admitted by examination to practice in one or more jurisdictions in the United States and has been in the active practice of law for at least 3 of the preceding 5 years in a jurisdiction in which he or she is licensed, the attorney may elect to take only the first day of the Maine Bar Examination. In addition, these attorneys are not required to use a Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) score. If applicant elects to take the MBE again, the higher score will be used to calculate the total score.
Under MBAR 10(e)(1)(ii), an applicant who has taken the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) within 61 months prior to the current administration of the Maine examination may elect to take only the first day of the Maine Bar Examination and use the prior MBE score. If applicant elects to take the MBE again, the higher score will be used to calculate the total score.
Under MBAR 10(e)(2), an applicant who qualifies under MBAR 10(e)(1)(i) or (ii) and who has a MBE score of 155 or better on an examination which the applicant passed, is qualified to elect to take only the first two questions on the Maine Bar Examination. These questions cover one or more of the following: Maine’s Code of Professional Responsibility, Maine’s Rules of Evidence and Maine’s Rules of Civil, Appellate and Criminal Procedure. Back to Index.
Yes. An applicant who qualifies under either subpart (i) or (ii) of MBAR 10(e)(1) may elect to use a prior MBE score. Back to Index.
If you would like a copy of your Maine MBE score, please send us a signed letter, indicating the address where you would like the score sent, along with a check or money order for $25.00. There is no fee if you make the request within five months of taking the Maine bar exam. If you are transferring your MBE score to another jurisdiction, the fee is $25, and a transfer form will be supplied to you about a month before the exam.
The Board will mail the results directly to you. Results must be mailed within 75 days of the examination. Results will be posted on this website, BY APPLICANT NUMBER, on the day the result letters are mailed. (Applicants receive this number on the day of the exam and are advised to keep the number until results are posted, as applicant numbers will not be given out by phone or email.) Results will be posted BY NAME approximately three days after results are mailed. MBAR 10(h). Back to Index.
Yes. You must reapply by filing an Application for Reexamination. The Board does not automatically transfer all application materials from one examination to another, though school certificates, MPRE scores, and MBE scores are kept on file. Back to Index.
Yes. The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is given through the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Call them directly at (319) 337-1287 or visit their website at www.ncbex.org. Maine requires this examination of every attorney who is admitted to Maine after 1987. The minimum required score on the MPRE is a scaled score of 80. Back to Index.
The Board makes copies of essay questions and representative answers of the Maine essay portion from the last six exam administrations available to the public upon completion of the applicable request form and submission of the appropriate payment. To obtain said copies, click here. Back to Index.
The Board makes no recommendations regarding bar review courses. Back to Index.
Effective with the July 2001 Maine Bar Examination, no smoking will be allowed during the examination. A separate smoking area will not be provided and applicants will not be allowed to leave the examination room to smoke. There will be a break each day for lunch, at which time applicants must leave the examination room and are therefore free to smoke at any location where smoking is permitted. Back to Index.
Please refer to the Regulations for Determining the Equivalency of Foreign Legal Education on this web site, or write to the Board for a copy of this information. The Board handles these determinations on a case-by-case basis. Please note that Maine Bar Admission Rule 10(c)(4) requires that applicants who graduate from a foreign law school with a legal education which, in the Board’s opinion pursuant to regulations adopted by the Board, is equivalent to that provided in those law schools accredited by the ABA, must have been admitted to practice in that country or by examination in one or more jurisdictions within the United States AND has been in active practice in a jurisdiction in which applicant is licensed for at least three years before they are eligible to sit for the Maine bar. MBAR 10(c)(4). Back to Index.
Maine Bar Admission Rule 10(c)(3) requires that applicants who graduate from a non-ABA accredited program must be admitted and practice in a jurisdiction for three years before they are eligible to sit for the Maine bar. MBAR 10(c)(3). Graduates of the Massachusetts School of Law are eligible to sit for the Maine bar exam if they have been admitted in Massachusetts and file a certificate of good standing with the Board. Back to Index.
You may download forms for requesting testing accommodations directly from this web site. Click here. The Board’s policy regarding testing accommodation requests is also posted in this web site. The Board handles each request for such accommodations on a case-by-case basis. Back to Index.
Yes, the request must be in writing. The applicant should state for which exam they sat and enclose a money order in the amount of $25.00. Applications are not, however, kept indefinitely. Back to Index.