Tennessee Bar Exam: A Basic Guide

Tennessee’s Bar exam is made up of two different exams. One essay exam and one multiple choice exam. To pass this professional exam you will need to meet minimum scores on each test. One of your first steps to passing the Tennessee Bar Exam is to read this article. It contains all the basic information that you need to begin your preparation for taking the Tennessee Bar Exam.


To qualify for the Tennessee Bar Exam you only need to meet a few requirements. The first qualification is that the candidate meets specific educational goals. This includes earning a bachelors degree from an accredited institutions, and earning a JD from an ABA approved law school. The second qualification is that the candidate be of good moral character. To meet this requirement you will need to undergo a criminal and financial background check. The Tennessee Bar Exam must also demonstrate intent to practice law in the state. The final qualification is that the candidate takes the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam, and passes it with a score of at least 75 points. Scores from the MPRE are good for two years after the test has been taken.


To register to sit for the Tennessee Bar Exam you will need to download, print out, complete, and submit an application package. These can be found on the Board of Law Examiners’ website.

Board of Law Examiners
706 Church Street, Suite 100
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0740
(615) 741-3234 local telephone number


The Tennessee Bar Exam will be given over a two day period in the cities of Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville during the last week of February and during the last week of July. On the first day of the Tennessee Bar Exam you will be given the Multistate Bar Exam, also referred to as the MBE. This exam will consist of 200 multiple choice questions that cover general legal topics and issues. On the second day of the exam you will be given twelve essay questions. To pass this examination you will need to meet at least one of these score minimums. The first way to pass is to have a minimum MBE score of 135 and an essay minimum score of 7 points out of 12. The second way to pass is to have an MBE minimum score of 130 and an essay score of at least 8 points out of 12. The final way to pass this exam is to earn a minimum of 125 points on the MBE and then earn at least 9 points out of 12 points on the essay section of the exam.


To prepare for the Tennessee Bar Exam Essay you should review the following topics:

1. Constitutional Law
2. Evidence
3. Contracts
4. Criminal Law and Procedure
5. Real Property
6. Torts
7. Remedies
8. Community Property
9. Conflict of Laws
10. Persons and Domestic Relations
11. Corporations
12. Agency and Partnership
13. Wills, Estates, and Trusts
14. Uniform Commercial Code
15. Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure
16. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
17. Commercial Papers
18. Family Law
19. Sales
20. Secured Transactions
21. Future Interests

For a study materials please check out the following links:

1. Tennessee Legal Code located at http://www.romingerlegal.com/state/tennessee.html
2. Uniform Commercial Code located at http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/ucc.table.html
3. You can request sample MEE essay questions by writing to: National Conference of Bar Examiners, 402 West Wilson Street, Madison, WI 53703-3614

To prepare for the Tennessee Bar Exam you will also need to study for the Multistate Bar Exam. This exam will be made up of 200 multiple choice questions that cover the following topics as they are generally applied throughout the United States of America:

1. Constitutional Law
2. Contracts and Sales
3. Criminal Law and Procedures
4. Evidence
5. Real Property
6. Torts

If you would like a study guide for this section you can visit the NCBE website at http://www.ncbex.org/.

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