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Bar Exam

Drake Law School has provided information for current students about applying for and taking the bar exam.


February 2024 Bar Exam

The February Bar Examination will be held on February 27-28, 2024, at the Holiday Inn and Suites Des Moines-Northwest in Urbandale. The application deadline for that exam is November 1, 2023.

July 2024 Bar Exam

The July Bar Examination will be held on July 30-31, 2024, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Des Moines. The application deadline for the exam is April 1, 2024. Applicants who were unsuccessful on the February 2024 Iowa Bar Examination may apply for the July Bar within 30 days after the release of their score from the February exam. 

Bar Exam Test Options

Uniform Bar Exam

The Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) is coordinated by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and consists of the MEE, the MPT, and the MBE.

The UBE gives test takers a portable score that they can use to practice law in the other UBE jurisdictions: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the Virgin Islands. Each state sets its own minimum passing score and testing requirements.

Find more information at

Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination

The NCBE also administers the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), a two-hour, 60-question, multiple-choice ethics examination offered three times a year. It is required for admission to the bars of all but three U.S. jurisdictions (Maryland, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico).

Each state sets its own minimum score requirement. The state of Iowa requires a score of 80 or above to sit for the Iowa Bar Exam.

Find more information at

Other Test Requirements

Non-UBE jurisdictions set their own testing and scoring requirements. To learn more about each state's requirements and subjects tested, see this webpage.

For Iowa requirements, visit the Iowa Bar Exam website.

Character and Fitness

In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Students are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners. For more information click here

Bar Exam Components

Check out state bar websites to see the requirements of the state you are interested in, subjects tested, and any MPRE requirements. You should regularly visit your respective bar’s website for information and updates.


Multistate Essay Exam

The Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) consists of six 30-minute essay questions administered in a three-hour session.

The following subjects may be tested:

  • 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 (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.

Learn more here.

Multistate Performance Test

The Multistate Performance Test (MPT) consists of two 90-minute performance tests. User jurisdictions may select one or both MPT items to include as part of their bar examinations.

Jurisdictions that administer the Uniform Bar Examination use both MPT items.

Learn more at

Multistate Bar Examination

The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) consists of two three-hour sessions (100 multiple choice questions per session).

The MBE tests the following subjects:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Real Property
  • Torts
  • Federal Civil Procedure

Find more information here.

Prepare for the Bar Exam

1. Register for the Bar Exam Preparation Course, offered both fall and spring semesters.

2. Find resources, sample questions and more on the Drake Law Library website.

3. Consider commercial courses, such as BARBRI, KaplanHelix or Themis.

4. For questions or concerns, contact Ashley Madsen, Director of Academic Success


Bar Exam Application 

Download the Iowa Bar Examination Application on the Iowa Bar Examination website.

Note: If more space is needed to complete the forms, use an additional piece of paper. Do not alter the formatting or add lines to the document.

Send a printed copy of the completed form to the Office of Professional Responsibility:

Office of Professional Responsibility
1111 East Court Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50319

As part of the Iowa Bar Exam Application, an Affidavit of the Dean must be filed with the Office of Professional Regulation. Students who indicate on their Bar Plans and Authorization for Release of Information form their intent to sit for the Iowa bar immediately following graduation, the Dean's Office will automatically prepare the Affidavit of the Dean and submit the same to the Office of Professional Regulation.  

Students who plan to sit for a bar examination outside the state of Iowa or at a date other than the testing date immediately following graduation, must contact Krista Magill in the Dean's Office to make arrangements for their specific bar certification.

Iowa Bar Examination Application Deadlines

Exam Date             
Application Deadline
February Nov. 1 $800
July April 1 $800

For more information and the applications, visit the Iowa Bar Examination website.

Questions? Contact Ashley Madsen, Director of Academic Success. 

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