State-by-State Bar Exam Information: Texas

Bar Information

512-463-1621

Key Dates

When is the Bar Exam: 

The last Tue, Wed, and Thu of February and July

When is the application for the July exam made available: 

Always available on the Board of Law Examiners' website

By when is the application for the July exam due?: 

January 30th. The late filing deadline is March 30th.

Exam Details

What tests and types of questions are on the bar exam?: 

Written:

40 short-answer questions on Texas Criminal Procedure(20), and Civil Procedure and Evidence (20)

12 Texas state essays

One performance test drawn from the Multistate Performance Test (MPT)

Multiple-choice: The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)

What subjects are tested: 

Written questions:

Texas Civil Procedure, Texas Jurisdiction, Federal and Texas Criminal Procedure, Federal and Texas Evidence, business associations, trusts and guardianships, wills and administration, family law, UCC, consumer rights (including DTPA and insurance), real property, oil & gas, income tax, estate tax, gift tax, bankruptcy

Multiple-choice:

The MBE tests Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts.

See http://www.ble.state.tx.us/rules.htm

Is it possible to take the written portions of the exam on a laptop computer?: 

Yes. Laptop sites are limited, but availability of a seat at a designated laptop site is ample if applicants timely register, pay laptop fees, and comply with other requirements.

Are past exam questions and sample answers available?: 

Questions, the examiners' analyses, and selected sample answers are available here.

How is the exam scored?: 

The portions are weighted as follows:

MBE: 40%

Texas Essays: 40%

Procedure & Evidence short-answer: 10%

Performance Test: 10%

Statistics

What was the first-time taker pass rate for the most recent July bar exam? : 

2012: 84%; 2011: 87%

What was the overall pass rate for all takers of the most recent July bar exam?: 

2012: 79%; 2011: 82%

Reciprocity

Can MBE scores be transferred from other jurisdictions?: 

No

Can applicants already admitted in another state gain admission without taking the bar exam?: 

Yes, but only if the applicant has practiced law for five of the last seven years. Please consult the jurisdiction directly for more detailed information on admission by motion.

The information for Texas comes from the Texas Board of Law Examiners' website and its response to our survey, as well as the National Conference of Bar Examiners' Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements  and annual statistical report.