Maryland began administering the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) in July 2019.
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 minimum-passing UBE score in Maryland has not yet been announced, but other jurisdictions’ minimum scores range from 260 to 280.
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 Maryland, 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 Maryland 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.
Maryland has yet to announce the material that will comprise the required Maryland-law component for admission to the Maryland bar.