West Virginia Judiciary

Board of Law Examiners

Bar Application

Please follow the links below for instructions in preparing your application.
Instructions for applicants applying to take the West Virginia Bar Examination.
Instructions for applicants applying for admission without examination
Instructions for applicants applying for Limited Permission
Instructions for applicants applying as Resident Professors of Law
Online Application Packet

Bar Examination Time Frames

There are two bar examinations held annually. Examinations are held on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July of each year. Unless otherwise noted on this website or in materials sent to bar applicants, all bar examinations are held at the Charleston Civic Center.

Priority deadline for the February bar examination is November 1 of the previous year. Applications should arrive in our office no earlier than August 1. Late applications postmarked between November 2 and December 1 must include a $200 late fee. Applications postmarked after December 1 will not be accepted.

Priority deadline for the July bar examination is April 1 of the current year. Applications should arrive in our office no earlier than March 1. Late applications postmarked between April 2 and May 1 must include a $200 late fee. Applications postmarked after May 1 will not be accepted.

Bar Examination Subjects

The West Virginia Bar Examination is a two-day exam comprised of three parts. The Multi-State Performance Test (MPT) is administered in a three-hour session on the morning of the first day, and includes two performance test questions designed to test an applicant’s ability to use fundamental lawyering skills in a realistic situation. The Multi-State Essay Examination (MEE) is administered in a three-hour session on the afternoon of the first day, and includes six essay questions that are to be answered according to the laws of the State of West Virginia. The Multi-State Bar Examination (MBE) is a six-hour exam with two hundred multiple choice questions, half administered in a three-hour morning session and half in a three-hour afternoon session on the second day of the exam. Additional information about these three exams may be found at http://www.ncbex.org/about-ncbe-exams/.

Use of Laptops During the Bar Examination

Applicants may use their own Windows or Mac laptops to complete their essay responses during the first day of the examination. Special software is required in order to provide exam security and reliable capture and delivery of applicant answer records. The software, known as SofTest, is provided by ExamSoft for an additional fee payable directly to ExamSoft. After the final application deadline, the WVBLE will contact applicants with further information about registering with ExamSoft and downloading the software.

The SofTest format allows answers to be typed in a format that resembles common word-processors. The version of the software used by the WVBLE does not impose a word count limit and does not correct spelling or grammar errors. Answer responses are automatically saved and backed up very frequently to promote data integrity. Files are downloaded and uploaded before and after the exam, but Internet connectivity (and access to all other programs or files) is disabled during the exam. As soon as applicants connect to the Internet after the exam, answer files are automatically uploaded. The WVBLE does not provide an Internet connection for applicants, who must upload their answers by midnight following the first day of the exam; however, wireless Internet is widely available in the Charleston area. Each applicant using a laptop will have access to an electrical outlet at the testing table for the duration of the exam.