In addition to the state-specific essays many jurisdictions include in their exams, the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) is an integral part of the bar in 24 jurisdictions (25 in 2013 when Washington adopts the test) and 3 U.S. Territories.
Not only does the MEE draw questions from MBE subjects—Contracts, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law/Procedure, Evidence, Torts, and Real Property—it also tests such subjects as Business Associations, Conflict of Laws, Family Law, Federal Civil Procedure, Trusts and Estates, and Uniform Commercial Code.
The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), the creators of the exam, describe the object of the MEE as follows:
The purpose of the MEE is to test the examinee’s ability to (1) identify legal issues raised by a hypothetical factual situation; (2) separate material which is relevant from that which is not; (3) present a reasoned analysis of the relevant issues in a clear, concise, and well-organized composition; and (4) demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental legal principles relevant to the probable solution of the issues raised by the factual situation.
Each year, the NCBE writes nine, 30-minute essay questions drawn from the pool of testable subjects and provides them to the jurisdictions that include the MEE in their state examinations. Each jurisdiction selects six of these essays to administer to their examinees.
Essays are typically administered on the first, or in some cases third, day of any given state’s bar exam. For states that test the MEE, the morning session is typically reserved for testing state-specific subject areas and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT). The MEE is usually placed in the afternoon session and bar takers are allotted three hours to complete the six 30-minute essays.
Next up: Strategies for success on the MEE.
Have a question about preparing for the bar exam? Email Kimber Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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