Uniform Bar Examination
The Supreme Court of Ohio exercises its jurisdiction over the admission to the practice of law pursuant to Rule I of the Rules for the Government of the Bar. Rule I establishes requirements that an applicant must meet in order to be admitted to the practice of law. One of the admission requirements that effects most applicants is passing the Ohio Bar Examination.
On Aug. 14, 2018, the Supreme Court of Ohio announced that it will begin using the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) beginning in July 2020. The UBE is a two-day test comprised of three components prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the Multistate Bar Exam, the Multistate Performance Test and the Multistate Essay Exam.
If you have any questions, please email the Office of Bar Admissions at BarAdmissions@sc.ohio.gov.
Frequently Asked Questions
The UBE is a two-day test comprised of three components prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
Prior to July 2020, the Ohio Bar Examination consisted of two MPT items given in two ninety-minute sessions, 12 Ohio essay questions given in two three-hour sessions, and the MBE. The UBE consists of two MPT items given in one three-hour session, six MEE items given in one three-hour session, and the Multistate Bar Examination. The first administration was February 2021.
Ohio’s first administration of the National Conference of Bar Examiner’s Uniform Bar Exam is summer or fall of 2020.
Prior to the administration of the UBE, the rule allowed for a regrading of the written portion of the examination for any applicant whose total examination score after scaling falls within one point below the minimum passing score. Upon administration of the UBE, the rule will allow an automatic regrade for any applicant whose total examination score after scaling falls within two points below the minimum passing score. There is absolutely no regrade for any applicant whose total examination score does not fall within two points of 270, for example, a 267.90.
In Ohio, all applicants must receive final character and fitness approval from the Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness prior to sitting for the bar examination. The rules do not allow an applicant to sit for an examination, in Ohio, by way of courtesy seating, as they would not have gone through the character and fitness process and received final character and fitness approval.
Ohio will recognize acceptable UBE scores from other UBE states for five years post-examination. After five years, an attorney from another state, if eligible, may apply for admission without examination.
The chart below explains the furthest date the Office of Bar Admissions will accept a UBE transfer score.
|Current Administration||UBE Score Obtained|
|July 2022||July 2017|
|February 2023||February 2018|
|July 2023||July 2018|
|February 2024||February 2019|
Yes. The five-year limit will include exams administered prior to July 2020.
Yes. The Ohio Component consists of outlines and an online, open-book, multiple choice exam covering relevant Ohio-specific components. An applicant must earn a score of 80 percent or higher to pass the Ohio Component. Both those sitting in Ohio and those transferring in a UBE score will be required to complete the Ohio Component. The Board of Bar Examiners prepare and maintain the outlines and develop the questions of the Ohio Component.
The Ohio Component is a pre-admission requirement. A passing score must be achieved prior to being sworn in.
Applicants sitting for a UBE administration in Ohio will be granted access following the Wednesday of the exam and they will be notified via email that the Ohio Component is open to them. Applicants transferring in a qualifying UBE score will be granted access once the Office of Bar Admissions determines their transfer application is complete.
Practice Pending Admission (PPA) was extended to allow individuals that are licensed and in good standing in another jurisdiction to practice law in Ohio while their application is pending under Gov.Bar R. I, Sec. 19. Applicants who are applying to sit for the UBE, and applicants that are applying for a UBE transfer will be permitted to apply for PPA, if admitted and in good standing in another jurisdiction. This application must be submitted to the Office of Bar Admissions within 90 days of providing legal services in Ohio.
The UBE score will be calculated using the applicant’s scores on each section. The MEE is worth 30 percent of the overall score, the MPT is worth 20 percent of the overall score, and the MBE is worth 50 percent of the overall score.
There is no character limit on the written portions of the exam.
Ohio Bar Examination
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street, 5th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Gina White Palmer, Esq.