Rhode Island Bar Exam

Rhode Island Bar Exam Format

The Rhode Island bar exam takes two days and consists of the Rhode Island Essays, Multistate Performance Test (“MPT”), Multistate Essay Exam (“MEE”), and the Multistate Bar Exam (“MBE”). Rhode Island law is tested on the Rhode Island bar exam.

Rhode Island Essays
Rhode Island tests three (3) Rhode Island essays and will test subject matter that is not included on the MEE exam during that particular testing cycle. Subjects may include:

  • Business Entities (Corporations, Partnerships, LLCs, etc.
  • Civil Procedure (including Equity)
  • Commercial Paper
  • Conflict of Law
  • Contracts (Sales)
  • Family Law (Domestic Relations)
  • Probate
  • Secured Transactions and Creditor’s Rights
  • Wills and Trusts

MPT (Performance Test)
Rhode Island tests one (1) MPT performance test.

MEE (Essays)
Rhode Island tests six (6) MEE essays. Subjects may include:

  • Business Associations (Agency and Partnership; Corporations and LLCs)
  • Civil Procedure (Federal)
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts (Common Law, Sales/UCC Art. 2)
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Negotiable Instruments/Commercial Paper (UCC Art. 3)
  • Real Property
  • Secured Transactions (UCC Art. 9)
  • Torts
  • Trusts and Estates (Decedents’ Estates, Trusts, Future Interests)

MBE (Multiple Choice)
Rhode Island uses the standard MBE. Subjects include:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts (Common Law, Sales/UCC Art. 2)
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Real Property
  • Torts

MBE Score Transfer
Rhode Island accepts MBE scores from other jurisdictions for concurrent exams only. Rhode Island also offers the Rhode Island Attorney’s Exam where eligible attorneys are only required to take the first day written portion of the exam and not the second day MBE.

Rhode Island Bar Exam Testing Schedule

Day 1
Morning – 1 MPT (90 minutes) 3 Rhode Island Essay (90 minutes)
Afternoon – 6 MEE Essays (3 hours)

Day 2
Morning – MBE Part I (100 questions; 3 hours)
Afternoon – MBE Part II (100 questions; 3 hours)

Rhode Island Bar Exam Dates and Application

The Rhode Island bar exam is held on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. There is no late filing. Applications can be found on the Rhode Island Judiciary’s Website.

Exam Date Application Deadline
February 21-22, 2017 December 1
July 25-26, 2017 May 1


Rhode Island Bar Exam Weight

RI Essays 13.6%
MPT 9.1%
MEE 27.3%
MBE 50%

Grading Procedure
The essay and MPT answers are graded on a six-point scale. The MPT score is multiplied by two so that the MPT is worth twice as much as one essay. The written scores are added together for a maximum possible written point total of 66. The applicant’s written raw score will then be scaled against the MBE scores of Rhode Island applicants but will ignore the scores of applicants with MBE scores below 130. The NCBE grades the MBE on a scaled scoring system with a maximum of 200 possible points. The written scaled score and MBE scaled score are then added together for the total bar exam score.

Passing Score
Applicants need to achieve an MBE scaled score of 130 or greater to pass the Rhode Island bar exam. If this score is not obtained, Rhode Island will not score the applicant’s written portion of the exam. Applicants need a total bar exam score of 276 to pass the Rhode Island bar exam.

For the Rhode Island Attorney’s Exam, attorneys must obtain a written scaled score of 138 or greater to pass the Rhode Island bar exam. The attorney’s score is scaled to other applicants taking both the written and MBE portions of the exam.

Pass Rates
Not currently available.

Review and Appeal for Applicants Failing the Rhode Island Bar Exam
Applicants who fail the exam may file a request, in writing, with the Clerk of the Rhode Island Supreme Court for a conference with a member of the Board to review the applicant’s answers and grades.

Retaking the Rhode Island Bar Exam

Applicants may reapply to take the Rhode Island bar exam up to five times.