What is the District of Columbia bar exam?
The Washington, D.C. bar exam assesses whether an examinee is competent to practice law in the District of Columbia. Passing the bar exam is an essential step in becoming a lawyer in the District of Columbia. The exam consists of three components: an essay component, a multiple-choice component, and a performance component. Examinees are tested on a variety of legal subjects. Bar exam scores are scaled, meaning that scores are adjusted to reflect the relative difficulty of a particular exam. These adjustments ensure that no examinee is unfairly penalized or rewarded for taking a more or less difficult exam.
Studying for the D.C. bar exam is a full-time job that requires discipline, determination, and—for most people—a formal course structure. Quimbee’s D.C. bar review is expertly designed to help you prepare for the D.C. bar examination in the most efficient and effective way possible. Our D.C. bar prep course includes 1,200+ real practice questions from past bar exams, 100+ lesson videos, model answers with detailed explanations, full-length practice tests, and comprehensive outlines of Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) and Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) subjects.
Read on to learn more about the D.C. bar exam and how Quimbee’s bar review course can help you pass the D.C. bar exam.
What is the District of Columbia bar exam format?
The District of Columbia administers the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE).
The UBE is a uniformly administered bar exam that results in a portable score. This means that applicants who take the UBE may transfer their scores to seek admission in other UBE jurisdictions.
UBE scoring is based on a 400-point scale. Each jurisdiction sets its own minimum-passing score. The District of Columbia’s minimum-passing UBE score is 266.
The UBE consists of three sections: the MBE, the MEE, and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT).
Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)
The MBE is a six-hour, 200-question multiple-choice examination developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and administered by participating jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia, on the last Wednesday in February and the last Wednesday in July of each year. The MBE counts for 50 percent of an examinee’s total UBE score.
According to the NCBE, the purpose of the MBE is to assess the extent to which an examinee can apply fundamental legal principles and legal reasoning to analyze given fact patterns.
The MBE is divided into morning and afternoon testing sessions of three hours each, with 100 questions in each session. There are no scheduled breaks during either the morning or afternoon session, though test taskers typically may be excused from the exam room during the test. Be sure to check with your jurisdiction, however, as the rules regarding leaving the exam room may vary.
Of the 200 questions on the MBE, 175 questions are scored. The remaining unscored 25 questions are used by the NCBE to test potential future questions. The scored questions are distributed evenly, with 25 questions from each tested subject area. The D.C. bar exam subjects include civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, real property, and torts.
Multistate Essay Examination (MEE)
The MEE consists of six 30-minute issue-spotter questions. The MEE is administered on the Tuesday before the last Wednesday in February and July of each year. The MEE counts for 30 percent of an examinee’s UBE score.
Subjects that may be tested on the MEE include business associations, civil procedure, conflict of laws, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, family law, real property, torts, trusts and estates, and Article 9 (secured transactions) of the Uniform Commercial Code.
Multistate Performance Test (MPT)
The MPT is the third component of the UBE. The MPT is used in many jurisdictions that haven’t adopted the UBE; 46 jurisdictions administered the MPT in 2018.
Unlike other components of the UBE, the MPT is not a test of substantive knowledge. The MPT consists of two 90-minute problems designed to mimic real-world tasks that a new attorney might be assigned. The MPT counts for 20 percent of an examinee’s UBE score.
The materials for each MPT include a file and a library. The file consists of the facts of a fictitious case and includes legal documents related to the case. The library contains statutes, cases, and other forms of rules. The file and library will include both relevant and irrelevant information; it’s up to you to figure out what you’ll need to complete your task. The examinee’s task will be outlined in a memorandum contained in the file.
Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)
In addition to the UBE, a passing score on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is also required to become a licensed District of Columbia attorney. The MPRE tests an examinee’s knowledge of the ethics rules related to the practice of law. According to the NCBE, the purpose of the MPRE is to “measure examinees' knowledge and understanding of established standards related to the professional conduct of lawyers.”
The MPRE’s questions are largely based on the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, but the MPRE also covers relevant court decisions as well as procedural and evidentiary rules.
The MPRE consists of 60 multiple-choice questions—50 scored questions and 10 unscored questions. As with the MBE, each question on the MPRE is followed by four possible answer options. You’ll have two hours to complete the exam.
The MPRE is offered three times per year, typically in March, August, and November. Be sure to register early—the regular registration fee is $135, but the late registration fee is $220.
The MPRE is scored on a scale that ranges from 50 to 100. The District of Columbia requires a minimum-passing MPRE score of 75.
What is the best District of Columbia bar exam prep course?
Quimbee Bar Review is your best option to prepare for the Washington, D.C. bar exam. Quimbee Bar Review and Quimbee MBE Review offer everything you need to succeed on the D.C. bar exam, and all of the course material is available from your computer.
D.C. Bar Practice Tests
Quimbee’s course offers several full-length practice MBEs and thousands of MBE practice questions—many licensed directly from the NCBE. Quimbee’s practice MPTs are also real, licensed tests from past bar exams. You’ll also get personalized feedback from a dedicated attorney grader on your practice essays for the MEE, so you can check your understanding, learn what you need to work on, and feel confident that you’re ready by test day.
D.C. Bar Study Guide
Quimbee Bar Review will walk you through bar prep from start to finish. You'll start with a high-level overview of every bar topic to refresh what you learned in law school. You'll watch Quimbee's beautifully designed video lessons, practice multiple-choice questions to test what you've learned, and read through Quimbee's expert-written outlines. And true understanding isn’t just answering a question correctly. You need to know why you got a question right or why you got a question wrong. That’s why Quimbee provides you with detailed explanations for every practice question, so you can understand the difference between the correct and incorrect answers.
Quimbee’s outlines provide comprehensive coverage of all MBE and MEE subjects. Quimbee Outlines are written by experts and are perfectly tailored to the NCBE’s subject matter outlines, so you can be confident you’re studying only the material that’s tested on the bar exam.
So, if you’re wondering how to pass the Washington, D.C. bar exam, check out Quimbee Bar Review, and you’ll see why Quimbee is the best Washington, D.C. bar review course available.