1. What are the basic requirements for admission?
2. When can I take the Utah Bar Exam?
3. What are the deadlines for applying to sit for the Bar Exam?
4. How do I apply for Admission to the Utah State Bar?
5. How much is the Utah State Bar Application filing fee?
6. Can I be admitted on motion?
7. What are the components of the Utah State Bar Examination?
8. How is the Utah State Bar Examination scored?
9. What if I fail the Utah State Bar Examination? 
10. How do I transfer or withdraw my Application?
11. As a third-year law student, can I practice law in Utah?
12. What about pro hac vice?
13. Are there Bar examination review courses available?
14. How is my character and fitness assessed?
15. Can I transfer my MBE score?
16. Does Utah have a House Counsel license?
Have more questions? E-mail the admissions office at adm@utahbar.org. Or, telephone (801) 257-5518.

1. WHAT ARE THE BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION (return to top) ?

If you are seeking admission in Utah as a(n):

  • Student Applicant, see Rule 14-703.
  • Attorney Applicant, see Rule 14-704.
  • Foreign Attorney Applicant, see Rule 14-703(b).
  • Disbarred Attorney Applicant, see Rule 14-701(o) and 14-717.
  • Motion Applicant, see Rule 14-705.
  • House Counsel Applicant, see Rule 14-719.
  • Foreign Legal Consultant Applicant, see 14-718.
  • Former attorney who previously resigned (without discipline pending), see Rule 14-717(a).

Please be aware that all applicants to the Utah State Bar (except for Foreign Legal Consultants) must have graduated from an ABA approved law school, unless they qualify for an exception under Rules 14-703(b), 14-704(b), or 14-719(b)(3).

2. WHEN CAN I TAKE THE UTAH STATE BAR EXAM (return to top)?

The Utah State Bar Examination is administered twice a year, normally on the last Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July.

The MPRE is administered three times a year. For more information about dates and registration, contact the MPRE at (319) 341-2500 or visit http://www.ncbex.org.

3. WHAT ARE THE DEADLINES FOR APPLYING TO SIT FOR THE BAR EXAM? (return to top)

NOTICE: It may take 6 weeks or longer to obtain all required documents for this application. Please plan accordingly in order to meet the filing deadline.

FEBRUARY EXAM:

  • Application filing deadline date – October 1
  • Late filing deadline date – October 15 (include a $100 late fee)
  • Final filing deadline date – November 1 (include a $300 late fee)

JULY EXAM:

  • Application filing deadline date – March 1
  • Late filing deadline date – March 15 (include a $100 late fee)
  • Final filing deadline date – April 1 (include a $300 late fee)

Send your completed Application, fees and supplementary documents to:

Utah State Bar
Office of Admissions
645 South 200 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111-3834

If you mail your application, it is strongly recommended that you send it RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED. If you deliver your application, bring a copy with you (the Utah State Bar will not make a copy for you) and ask to have your copy DATE STAMPED RECEIVED. This will ensure that you have a record of timely filing should there be questions later. Applications are retained for five years. If still on file, photocopies of all or a portion of an Application are available for $25 per copy. Your Application becomes the property of the Utah State Bar once filed.

4. HOW DO I APPLY FOR ADMISSION TO THE UTAH STATE BAR EXAMINATION? (return to top)  

First, you must register with the Utah State Bar.

Second, you must complete an Application for Admission and provide any supplementary documentation. You can download a copy of the Application for Admission to the Utah State Bar by visiting the Application Registration, Application, Instructions and Forms page.

NOTE: Your Applications for Admission is not complete until your Application and ALL supplementary documentation is received by the Admissions office of the Utah State Bar. Incomplete Applications will not be deemed timely filed and may be returned.

5. HOW MUCH IS THE UTAH STATE BAR APPLICATION FILING FEE? ( return to top)  

  • Student Applicants taking Bar Examination: $550
  • Attorney Applicants taking Bar Examination: $850
  • Student Applicants transferring UBE score: $550
  • Attorney Applicants transferring UBE score: $850
  • Admission by Motion Applicants (non-refundable): $850
  • House Counsel Applicants (non-refundable): $850
  • Foreign Attorney Applicants: $850
  • Foreign Legal Consultants (non-refundable): $850
  • Applicants Seeking Readmission after Resignation: $1,000
    (non-refundable)
  • Disbarred Attorney Applicants seeking Readmission: $5,000

6. CAN I BE ADMITTED ON MOTION?
You may be eligible for admission by motion if you have been admitted to the practice of law before the highest court of a sister state or United States territory or the District of Columbia where admission by motion is authorized and if you meet all other requirements of Rule 14-705. The burden of proof is on the Applicant to establish by clear and convincing evidence that he or she meets each of the requirements.  Attorneys seeking admission by motion complete the same application as other applicants.

7. WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF THE UTAH STATE BAR EXAMINATION? (return to top)  

Utah administers the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE).  The UBE is a two day examination, consisting of a one-day written component and a one-day Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) component. The total time allotted to each component is six hours.

The Written Component. The written component is administered on the first day. It consists of six essay questions from the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) in the morning and two Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions in the afternoon.

Essays

Applicants will have 30 minutes to answer each essay question. The essay questions are taken from the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), which is prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The MEE questions are taken from the following twelve subject areas:

  • Business Associations (Agency and Partnerships; Corporations and Limited Liability Companies)
  • Civil Procedure
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts and Sales (UCC Article 2)
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Real Property
  • Torts
  • Uniform Commercial Code (Negotiable instruments– UCC Articles 3 and 4, Secured Transactions – UCC Article 9)
  • Wills, Trusts and Decedents’ Estates

For more information regarding the composition of the MEE, please visit the NCBE Website at: www.ncbex.org/multistate-tests/mee/
Applicants are expected to answer all essay questions by applying fundamental legal principles.

MPT

One and one-half hours will be allocated to complete each MPT question.

Prepared by the NCBE, each MPT will be given the same weight as two essays.  The MPT examines six fundamental lawyering skills that are required for the performance of many lawyering tasks. These skills are problem-solving, factual analysis, legal analysis, reasoning, written communication, organization and management of a legal task, and recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas.

The Multistate Bar Examination Component. The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) is a national test prepared by the NCBE and is given on the second day. The test consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. The MBE is divided into a 3-hour morning session and a 3-hour afternoon session. The following subjects are tested: Contracts, Criminal Law, Evidence, Real Property, Torts, and Constitutional Law.

Utah DOES NOT ACCEPT MBE SCORES from previous examinations for the purpose of waiving the MBE portion of the examination. MBE scores may only be transferred from another jurisdiction when the MBE is taken concurrently with the written component of the Utah Bar examination

For more information on the MBE visit the NCBE website at www.ncbex.org.

8. HOW IS THE UTAH STATE BAR EXAMINATION SCORED? (return to top)  

The raw scores from the written portion and the MBE portion of the exam are converted to a scaled score. The maximum possible scaled score on each component of the test is 200 points. The MBE scaled score and the essay scaled score are added together. An Applicant must receive a total combined scaled score of 270 to pass the Utah State Bar Examination.

9. WHAT IF I FAIL THE UTAH STATE BAR EXAMINATION? (return to top) 

Examinations shall be retained for not less than six months after the date that examination results have been announced. An unsuccessful applicant is entitled to examine his or her answers on the written portion of the examination. Copies of these are available by written request from the Utah State Bar for a $25 administrative fee. Copies are available after May 15 for the February exam and after October 15 for the July exam. MEE and MPT materials are copyrighted by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and can be obtained from the NCBE website (www.ncbex.org).

Applicants who wish to retake the Utah State Bar examination immediately following the failed exam must file a Reapplication for Admission Form and submit the proper application fee by the retake deadline.  The retake deadline will be approximately 4 weeks after the results are released. An exact date will be provided in the results letter. For all other retake applications, normal deadlines and late fees apply.

 

10. HOW DO I TRANSFER OR WITHDRAW MY APPLICATION? (return to top) 

If you wish to withdraw your application, you must do so in writing. A 50% refund of the examination filing fee is available for applications withdrawn no later than 30 days prior to the date of the Bar Examination. ABSOLUTELY NO REFUNDS WILL BE AVAILABLE AFTER SUCH TIME. Refunds will be processed in accordance with the date the written refund request is RECEIVED in the Admissions Office.

At-will requests to transfer your application are not permitted. Emergency transfers are limited to two circumstances: 1) a personal medical emergency, or 2) a death in the immediate family. Applicants requesting an emergency transfer must submit proof of the emergency and a written transfer request within seven days of the date of the examination. A $100 transfer fee must accompany your request.

If you are absent from the exam and do not submit an emergency transfer request to the Utah State Bar within seven days of the date of the exam, the Utah State Bar considers your application withdrawn. No refund will be issued. The full fee will be assessed and a new application must be submitted.

11. AS A THIRD YEAR LAW STUDENT, OR A RECENT LAW GRADUATE CAN I PRACTICE LAW IN UTAH? (return to top) 

See Rule 14-807 (Law Student and Law Graduate Assistance).  General Provisions of the Utah Supreme Court Rules of Professional Practice allow law students in their third year of law school and recent law school graduates to practice under the supervision of an attorney if they meet certain conditions.

12. WHAT ABOUT PRO HAC VICE? (return to top)

See Rule 14-806 (Pro Hac Vice Admission).  General Provisions of the Utah Supreme Court Rules of Professional Practice prohibit Attorney Applicants who reside in the State of Utah from practicing law in Utah as an out-of-state attorney.

13. ARE THERE BAR EXAMINATION REVIEW COURSES AVAILABLE? (return to top) 

The Utah State Bar does not endorse any provider of bar review courses. The following information is provided for reference only: BARBRI Bar Preparation Course: (888)-3BA-RBRI, website www.barbri.com; Beat the Bar: (817) 276-9090, website: www.beatthebar.com; Reed Bar Review: (800) 852-3926, website: www.ReedBarReview.com; Reed Multistate Bar Review: (866) 614-9516, website: www.ReedMBR.com; AmeriBar Bar Review: (800) 529-2651, website: www.ameribar.com; Primer Series® Multi-State Bar Review Course:(800)636-0716, website: www.MultistateBarReview.com; Kaplan PMBR: (800) 523-0777, website: www.kaplanpmbr.com.

Past MEE and MPT materials may be purchased from the NCBE.  These materials are usually available for purchase by the end of October for the previous July exam and by early June for the previous February exam. You may order these from the NCBE’s website:  www.ncbex.org.

14. HOW IS MY CHARACTER AND FITNESS ASSESSED? (return to top) 

The Character and Fitness Committee of the Utah State Bar will conduct a background investigation on every Applicant for admission to the Bar. All Applicants for admission by examination must be certified to the Utah Supreme Court as morally and ethically fit before they can sit for the Bar Examination.  All other Applicants must receive character and fitness approval prior to admission.  Applicants whose background investigations are not completed before the date of the examination or before the licensing deadline must wait until the next opportunity to take the examination or to be placed on the motion for admission.

1. As part of the background investigation the Utah State Bar will obtain a credit report for every Applicant.

a. If you have never resided in or established credit in the United States, you may be asked to submit a credit history from your country of residence.

2. To avoid delays in the completion of the investigation be certain to provide all information requested in the application, including:

a. Complete and accurate mailing addresses for employers and references.

b. Complete and detailed accounts of all circumstances where explanations are required, including dates, location and final outcome. All explanations must be substantiated by appropriate documentation.

3. Persons who file late applications will be given the lowest priority for completion of the background investigation and certification for admission. Late-filing applicants whose background investigations are not completed by the date of the examination will have their applications deferred to the following examination period. Late fees will not be refunded.

4. The Utah State Bar is not at liberty to engage in discussions relative to the status of an investigation. Applicants will be contacted, however, if explanations are inadequate, additional details are needed, or the Character and Fitness Committee requests your appearance before an Inquiry Panel to discuss matters relative to your character and fitness for admission.

15. CAN I TRANSFER MY MBE SCORE? (return to top)

Utah DOES NOT ACCEPT MBE SCORES from previous examinations for the purpose of waiving the MBE portion of the examination. MBE scores may only be transferred from another jurisdiction when the MBE is taken concurrently with the written component of the Utah Bar examination.

Requests for transfer of MBE scores from Utah to another jurisdiction must be processed through the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

16. DOES UTAH HAVE A HOUSE COUNSEL LICENSE? (return to top) 

Yes. Utah has a house counsel license option. A house counsel’s practice is limited to providing legal representation to his or her employer. House Counsel is not permitted to appear in court except as otherwise authorized by law. To be eligible to apply for a House Counsel license, the attorney must have an active license in a U.S. state or territory or the District of Columbia, and have either a residence in the state of Utah or maintain an office as the employer’s house counsel within the state of Utah. Attorneys seeking a House Counsel license complete the same application as other Applicants.  The application is available on the website.  Once received by the Bar, House Counsel applications take 4-6 months to be processed. Successful candidates have three opportunities a year to be admitted: February, May or October.

Please click here for the full text of Utah’s House Counsel Rule.