The Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) is s standardized bar exam in the United States, developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). The UBE offers portability of scores across states lines, and consists of three parts: the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT). The MBE is weighted at 50%, the MEE at 30%, and the MPT at 20%.
The bar exam is an examination administered in each state to assess a candidate’s knowledge and skills to determine whether or not the candidate is competent to practice law in that jurisdiction. It was created in Delaware in 1738, and soon other states followed suit. Like the bar exam, the Uniform Bar Exam is administered twice a year over the course of two days, once in February and once in July, and is uniformly administered and scored. The UBE differs in that it can also be used to apply in multiple jurisdictions that have adopted the UBE.
The Uniform Bar Exam was first administered in 2011 in Missouri and North Dakota. Other states began to use the UBE gradually, with a total of 33 jurisdictions (31 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) using the UBE. These states are:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
- U.S. Virgin Islands
Three states will soon adopt the UBE: Arkansas will adopt the UBE in February 2020; Ohio in July 2020; and Texas in February 2021.
Some of the largest legal markets in the United States, including California and Florida, have not adopted the UBE, for reasons such as concerns about the lack of questions on state law.
A person who passes the Uniform Bar Exam can transfer scores to another jurisdiction within a certain number of months of passing the exam. The transfer eligibility time varies between jurisdictions, ranging from 24 to 60 months.
The American Bar Association endorsed the Uniform Bar Exam at its 201 mid-year meeting.