Thursday, January 9, 2020

Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and the Case for the UBE; Indiana Looks to Join the UBE

Bar Professors Provides Private Tutoring for Repeat Takers for the UBE. North Carolina, Florida, the MBE, UBE, New York and California.

Currently, 36 states use the UBE.  Indiana will be the latest state to join the UBE.  Here is what Indiana and its neighboring states of Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan are doing for their bar exams.


The Study Commission on the Future of the Indiana Bar Exam has completed its review of the state’s bar exam and is now recommending the Hoosier state join the UBE movement. Since Indiana already uses the Multistate Bar Exam and the Multistate Performance Test components of the UBE, completely transitioning would require the Indiana essay portion to be replaced with the Multistate Essay Exam.

Indiana’s overall pass rate for July 2019 was 65%


Illinois switched to the UBE in July 2019, about three years after the Illinois State Bar Association endorsed a recommendation that the state adopt the national test.  Illinois passing score is 266.

Illinois’s overall pass rate for July 2019 was 71%


Ohio plans to implement the UBE in July 2020. Ohio will only have to swap its 12 essay questions for the MEE in order to switch to the national exam since it is presently using the MBE and MPT.

Essays on the current Ohio exam count for a little more than 53% of the total score. However, the UBE would shift the weight so the MBE’s 200 multiple choice questions would comprise 50% of the score while the multistate essay exam would make up 30%. Ohio’s passing score will be 270.

Ohio’s overall pass rate for July 2019 was 73%


After a multiyear comprehensive review of its bar exam, the Kentucky Supreme Court followed the advice of the Kentucky Bar Admission Review Commission and rejected the adoption of the UBE in December 2016. But retired Kentucky Justice Bill Cunningham, who co-led the commission, expects the Bluegrass State will reverse course since the UBE failed by only one vote back then, and the composition of the state’s supreme court today seems to be more favorable toward the national test. 

Kentucky’s overall pass rate for July 2019 was 66%


Michigan appears to have no plans to even consider adopting the UBE. Currently the state’s bar exam consists of 15 Michigan-specific essay questions and the MBE. 

Michigan’s overall pass rate for July 2019 was 61%.

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