The Kentucky bar exam takes two days and consists of the Kentucky Essays, the Multistate Essay Exam (“MEE” ), and the Multistate Bar Exam (“MBE” ). Knowledge of Kentucky law is not specifically tested on the Kentucky bar exam.
Kentucky Prepared Essays and MEE Essays
The Kentucky Board of Bar Examiners prepares six (6) of its own essay questions, and uses six (6) MEE essays for a total of 12 essay questions. Past Kentucky essays can be found here. Demonstrating knowledge of Kentucky law is not normally necessary, but if applicants know that Kentucky law differs from the national majority view on a subject, or represents a contested majority view, those differences should be pointed out and the implications of the differences discussed, if time permits. The essay questions cover one or more of the following subjects:
MBE (Multiple Choice)
Kentucky uses the standard MBE. Subjects include:
MBE Score Transfer
Kentucky accepts MBE scores of 132 or greater from other jurisdictions. The score must be achieved within three years (6 exams) of the current Kentucky bar exam.
Morning – 6 Essays (3 hours)
Afternoon – 6 Essays (3 hours)
Morning – MBE Part I (100 questions; 3 hours)
Afternoon – MBE Part II (100 questions; 3 hours)
The Kentucky bar exam is held twice each year on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. Applications can be found on the Kentucky Office Bar Admissions’ Website.
|Exam Date||Application Deadline||Late Deadline
|February 21-22, 2017||Oct. 1||Nov. 10||Dec. 10||Nov. 10|
|July 25-26, 2017||Feb. 1||March 10||May 10||May 10|
Kentucky Bar Exam Weight
There are 1,200 possible points for the essay portion of the exam. The points of each individual essay are added together to generate the total essay score.
Applicants must separately pass both the essay and MBE portions of the exam. A general essay score average of 75% (900 points) is deemed a passing score. An MBE scaled score of 132 is deemed a passing score.
Bar exam scores can be found here.
Review and Appeal for Applicants Failing the Kentucky Bar Exam
There is an automatic re-grade procedure when an applicant’s average score falls in the range of 73.00 and 74.99. The scores are re-graded before the bar exam results are posted. The bar examiner/grader can only raise the score, if warranted, or leave the score as it is, but he or she cannot lower the score. Applicants that fail the MBE may request to have their answer sheet hand scored.
There is no appeal process for appealing bar exam scores. Once the results are released, the bar exam scores are final.
Applicants failing to pass five Kentucky bar exams are not permitted to sit for the Kentucky bar exam. Applicants who fail to pass one portion of the exam can reapply to sit for the failed portion, but a passing score on one portion of the exam may only be used for a period of three years in order to exempt the applicant from re-taking that portion of the exam.