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Bar Examination Registration

Bar Examination Registration

UBE Announcement:

The Iowa Supreme Court has recently adopted rules implementing the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE).  The first UBE in Iowa was given in February 2016.  The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) states:

The Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) is coordinated by NCBE and is composed of the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), two Multistate Performance Test (MPT) tasks, and the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). It is uniformly administered, graded, and scored by user jurisdictions and results in a portable score that can be transferred to other UBE jurisdictions.

Applicants wishing to apply to take the February 2019 UBE in Iowa must file or postmark their bar application on or before November 1, 2018.  Applicants who are not fully admitted in another U.S. jurisdiction at the time the application is filed must also have a law student registration on file by that deadline.  An applicant who has already filed a law student registration in Iowa does not have to file another one, but must file the bar application to be allowed to sit for the examination.  The November 1st deadline is final and cannot be waived.

[Applicants seeking to transfer a UBE score of 266 or above may file an application for admission by transferred UBE score. The transfer application fee is $900].

Inquiries and Information

Please direct inquiries to:

Daniel Saar
Office of Professional Regulation
Judicial Branch Building, Second Floor
1111 East Court Avenue
Des Moines IA 50319    

Phone: (515) 348-4670
Fax: (515) 348-4698

Email: Bar.Admissions@iowacourts.gov

Links

Law Student Registration Requirement
Bar Examination Schedule
Fees
Bar Exam Application
Summary of Bar Examination
Bar Exam Laptop Option
Application for Testing Accommodations (ADA)
Application for Courtesy Accommodations (Non-ADA)
Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)
MBE Score Transfer Request

Law Student Registration Requirement

Who must file an LSR?

All bar applicants must file a law student registration unless they are fully licensed in another state.  An applicant who has passed the bar examination in another jurisdiction, but who has not been fully admitted to practice law in that jurisdiction, must comply with this requirement. 

When must the LSR be filed?

Deadline: Every person intending to apply for admission to the bar by examination shall, by January 15 of the year after the person commences the study of law at an accredited law school, register with the Iowa board of law examiners and pay a fee of $50. 

Late Deadline: If an applicant does not file the law student registration by the January 15 registration deadline above, but does file one by July 1 immediately preceding the February examination or by December 1 immediately preceding the July examination, the applicant must pay a fee of $150.

Final Deadline: If the applicant does not file the registration within the above deadlines, but does file one by November 1 immediately preceding the February examination or by April 1 immediately preceding the July examination, the applicant must pay a fee of $250.

The applicant must file the registration and pay the fee before the applicant’s bar application will be processed.

*The Law Student Registration does not alone allow you to sit for the Bar Examination. You must also file the Bar Exam Application by the required deadlines in order to sit for the examination. See Bar Examination Application Form below.*

Law Student Registration Form

Download the Law Student Registration Form (PDF)

Access the instructions for completing the form

Completing the Law Student Registration Form

You have three different options to complete this form. 

  1. If you have Adobe Acrobat you can complete and save your law student registration to your computer in order to work at your own pace.  Before you begin completing the application, you must save the file to a specific destination on your computer to enable you to complete the form in more than one sitting.  If you do not do so, all information will be lost and you will be required to complete the form each time you open the link.
     
  2. If you have Adobe Reader, YOU MAY NOT SAVE YOUR LAW STUDENT REGISTRATION ELECTRONICALLY.  Due to limitations in the FREE Adobe Reader, you will not be able to save the law student registration with entries included.  For this reason, you should be prepared to fill out the law student registration in its entirety before you begin.  Once you fill out the law student registration, you will be allowed to print it, but will not be allowed to save it.  Note, as soon as you close the document, all information entered into the form will be lost.  If you do not have Adobe Reader, download the latest version of Adobe Reader (Opens in New Window).
  3. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat and for any reason cannot complete the form using Adobe Reader, you may print out this form and complete it by hand writing the answers.

Bar Examination Schedule

February 2019 Bar Exam

The Iowa bar examination will be held on February 25 to 27 at Hy-Vee Hall  at Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.  The application deadline is November 1, 2018.

The application deadline for those who are unsuccessful on the July 2018 examination is 30 days after posting of results, or the usual application deadline, whichever is later.

All application deadlines are firm and will not be waived.

February 2019 Bar Examination Schedule

February 25-27, 2019

Hy-Vee Hall at Iowa Events Center
730 3rd St.
Des Moines, IA 50309

515-564-8001

  • Monday, February 25, 2019
    • 1:00 - 1:45 Mandatory Orientation Session
    • 1:45 – 4:00 Mandatory Applicant registration
  • Tuesday, February 26, 2019
    • 8:30: Enter exam room, find seat, and receive instructions
    • 9:00 – 12:00: MPT Part I and MPT Part II
    • 1:15: Enter exam room, find seat, and receive instructions
    • 1:30 – 4:30: MEE
  • Wednesday, February 27, 2019
    • 8:45: Enter exam room, find seat, and receive instructions
    • 9:00 – 12:00: MBE
    • 1:15: Enter exam room, find seat, and receive instructions
    • 1:30 – 4:30: MBE

July 2019 Bar Exam

The Iowa bar examination will be held on July 29-31 at Hy-Vee Hall at Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. The application deadline is April 1, 2019.

The application deadline for those who are unsuccessful on the February 2019 examination is 30 days after posting of results, or the usual application deadline, whichever is later.

All application deadlines are firm and will not be waived.

Fees

Bar Application Fee if not previously admitted: $550

Bar Application Fee if previously admitted: $800

Law Student Registration Fee: $50

Late Law Student Registration Fee: $150

  • (If not filed by the January 15 registration deadline, but is filed by July 1 immediately preceding the February examination or by December 1 immediately preceding the July examination)

Late Late Law Student Registration Fee: $250

  • (If not filed by within the above deadlines but filed by November 1 immediately preceding the February examination or by April 1 immediately preceding the July examination)

All checks should be made payable to “Board of Law Examiners”

Bar Exam Application

  1. Complete the Bar Application Form (PDF)
    The bar exam application form is a PDF.  You have three different options to complete this form:
    1. If you have Adobe Acrobat (not Adobe Reader) you can complete and save your application on your computer in order to work at your own pace.  Before you begin completing the application, you must save the file to a specific destination on your computer to enable you to complete the form in more than one sitting.  If you do not do so, all information will be lost and you will be required to complete the form each time you open the link.

    2. If you have Adobe Reader, YOU MAY NOT SAVE YOUR APPLICATION ELECTRONICALLY.  Due to limitations in the FREE Adobe Reader, you will not be able to save the application with entries included.  For this reason, you should be prepared to fill out the application in its entirety before you begin.  Once you fill out the application, you will be allowed to print it, but will not be allowed to save it.  Note, as soon as you close the document, all information entered into the form will be lost.  If you do not have Adobe Reader, download the latest version of Adobe Reader (Opens in New Window).

    3. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat and for any reason cannot complete the form using Adobe Reader, you may print out this form and complete it by hand writing the answers.

  2. To ensure all required components are submitted with the application, utilize the Bar Exam Checklist, but do not submit the Checklist with your application.
     
  3. If you have a question regarding the exam application procedure, see the frequently asked questions.

Application Requirements

  • Law Student Registration (unless licensed in another jurisdiction)

  • Graduation from an ABA-accredited law school

  • Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination - Score of 80 or above

  • Intention to practice law in Iowa or another UBE jurisdiction

  • Requisite character and fitness to practice law

  • Fingerprint Card

Summary of Bar Examination

  1. Multistate Essay Exam (MEE)
    • Six thirty-minute essay questions in one, three-hour session
    • The MEE portion of the examination shall consist of questions selected by the board from the following subjects:
      • Business associations
        • Agency and partnership
        • Corporations and LLCs
      • Conflict of laws
      • Constitutional law (Federal)
      • Contracts (including Uniform Commercial Code (Sales) (Art. 2))
      • Criminal law and procedure
      • Evidence (based on the Federal Rules of Evidence)
      • Family law
      • Federal civil procedure
      • Real property
      • Torts
      • Trusts and Estates
        • Decedents’ estates
        • Trusts and future interests
      • Uniform Commercial Code (Secured transactions) (Art. 9)
         
    • Some MEE questions may include issues from more than one area of law.  Conflict of laws issues are embedded in the other MEE topic areas.  They do not appear as stand-alone questions.  Uniform Commercial Code issues may require the applicants to know the general principles and applicable definitions set forth in Art. 1.  Complete subject matter outlines for the MEE are available on the website of the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
       
    • For more information and sample questions visit the National Conference of Bar Examiners website.
       
  2. Multistate Performance Test (MPT)
  3. Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)
    • Two three-hour sessions
    • 100 multiple choice questions per session
    • Areas of examination
      • Constitutional law
      • Contracts
      • Criminal law
      • Evidence
      • Real property
      • Torts
      • Federal Civil Procedure
    • For more information and sample questions visit the National Conference of Bar Examiners website.

Bar Exam Laptop Option

The Iowa Board of Law Examiners is pleased to offer the option to use your laptop to write the answers to the written portion of the Iowa bar examination (Multistate Essay Exam and Multistate Performance Test). Every applicant is eligible. Applicants who timely complete the ILG Exam360® registration process will be permitted to participate.  

You must provide your intent to use the laptop option with the bar application.  Specific information about registration of your laptop and payment of the laptop use fee will be provided after all applications are received. Payment is directly to ILG Technologies once the registration period is open.   

Application for Testing Accommodations (ADA)

What is the process for seeking nonstandard testing accommodations?

The Iowa Board of Law Examiners is committed to providing reasonable testing accommodations consistent with state and federal law. Reasonable accommodations are those adjustments or modifications of the standard testing conditions that ameliorate the impact of the applicant's disability on the examination process without fundamentally altering the nature of the exam, imposing an undue administrative or financial burden on the Board, compromising the security, validity or reliability of the exam, or providing an unfair advantage to the applicant with the disability.

Applicants seeking testing accommodations for a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must file the ELIGIBILITY QUESTIONNAIRE FOR TESTING ACCOMMODATIONS (Form A) (see available online forms below) along with other form(s) and all supporting documentation appropriate for the disability. The burden of proof is on the applicant to show the need for any additional testing considerations. You must prove that your condition has substantially impaired a major life activity as compared to the general population and that the requested accommodation is reasonably designed to ameliorate the impact of the disability.

The Board of Law Examiners reserves the right to request supplemental information from the applicant regarding the claimed disability or suggested accommodations including, but not limited to, additional expert examinations and/or reports.

The Board also reserves the right to make a final judgment concerning testing accommodations and may, in its discretion, seek an independent evaluation from a medical specialist, psychologist, psychiatrist or other qualified specialist. Each case will be evaluated on its facts.

What is the deadline for filing a request for accommodations?

In order for the request for accommodation to be considered by the Board, all appropriate forms and supporting documentation pertaining to the disability must be completed by the appropriate parties, attached to Form A and returned by the applicant to the Board by the bar application deadline.

What forms must be filed?

Forms to be submitted to support a request for accommodations are:

Form A -- Eligibility Questionnaire to be completed by applicant (Doc)

Form B -- Physical Disability (Doc) Verification to be completed by Physician/Licensed professional, describing the type and extent of the disability and specifying the effect of such disability on the applicant's ability to take the bar examination. The licensed professional should be specific about any recommendations for extra testing time.

Form C -- Learning Disability (Doc) Verification to be completed by Physician/Licensed professional, describing the type and extent of the disability and specifying the effect of such disability on an applicant's ability to take the bar examination. This form must be accompanied by copies of the evaluation and sub-tests which were administered within the last three years from the date the application for testing accommodation is filed.

Form D -- ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder) (Doc) Verification to be completed by a Physician/Licensed professional. This form must be accompanied by copies of the evaluation and tests which were administered within the last three years from the date the application for testing accommodation is filed.

Form E -- Mental Disability (Doc) Verification to be completed by Physician/Licensed professional. This form must be accompanied by copies of the evaluation and tests which were administered and a psychological report.

Form F -- Law School Accommodations Form to be completed by Law School Official (Doc).

Application for Courtesy Accommodations (Non-ADA)

Applicants seeking testing accommodations based upon a condition not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, including but not limited to breast-pumping, pregnancy, or the need to access medication at the exam site, should complete and file the form below as soon as the need for accommodations becomes apparent. The board of law examiners will address such requests on an individualized basis and may require medical documentation. The board will ensure breast-pumping applicants can bring necessary equipment to the exam site and are able to express milk in a sanitary and private setting with access to electrical outlets.

Request for Courtesy Accommodation for Health-Related Conditions (PDF)

Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)

The Iowa Board of Law Examiners does not schedule or administer the MPRE.  The National Conference of Bar Examiners website includes MPRE online registration.

An MPRE score of 80 or above must be on file with the Office of Professional Regulation before the applicant is allowed to sit for the bar examination.  MPRE scores will only be accepted for three years after the date the MPRE is taken.  If an applicant has not achieved a score of 80 or above prior to the applicable bar application deadline, the applicant must submit with the application, a petition or letter to the Iowa Supreme Court requesting leave from the Court to submit a late MPRE score. DO NOT submit this request directly to the Iowa Supreme Court, instead include with the completed application.  There is no specific form for this petition.  Applicants should detail plans to fulfill the MPRE requirement as outlined by the Iowa Court Rules.

MBE Score Transfer Request

If you have taken the MBE in Iowa and wish to transfer your score to another jurisdiction, please send a written request to the Office of Professional Regulation at the address listed above.  The request should include: your name, the date of the examination from which you wish to transfer your MBE score, the address of the jurisdiction you wish to transfer the score to, and a check for $10 made payable to the Board of Law Examiners.

Since the adoption of the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), Iowa no longer accepts transferred MBE scores. All applicants must take the entire UBE.

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