Dannnye K. Holley, Dean and Professor of Law

Texas Bar Examination Information and Resources

To practice law in the state of Texas, students from ABA-accredited law schools must take and pass the
Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), and
apply for bar admission through the Texas Board of Law Examiners. Preparing for your bar admission will
begin in your first semester in law school. Students should be aware of the organizations which
administer the UBE and the MPRE, the components of the UBE, and available study resources.
The organizations involved include:

  • The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) — Provides standardized examinations for use
    by states’ bar admission authorities.
  • The Supreme Court of Texas — Determines the qualifications for applicants to be licensed to
    practice law in Texas.
  • Texas Board of Law Examiners (BLE) — Administers the process of licensure to practice law in
    the state of Texas.

NCBE: www.ncbex.org/
Texas Supreme Court: www.txcourts.gov/supreme
BLE: ble.texas.gov/home
NCBE jurisdiction information for Texas: www.ncbex.org/jurisdiction-information/jurisdiction/tx

Submit Your Declaration of Intention to Study Law

Students in their first semester of law school will submit their Declaration of Intention to Study Law
(Declaration) to the Texas Board of Law Examiners. This process is essential for students who intend to
practice law and apply for licensure in Texas. You can submit your Declaration through the module on
the following page: ble.texas.gov/declaration-of-intention-to-study-law.
The Declaration requires detailed information about:

For any questions you may have about your Declaration, please refer to the Admissions department. 

  • College attendance
  • Employment history
  • Residence history
  • Six personal references.

Students will submit with their Declaration the following documents:

  • Certification form and Authorization and Release form
  • Law school application with all attachments
  • Birth certificate, or other compliant document
  • Any other documents required by disclosures.

Students submitting their Declaration must also undergo a fingerprinting background check process,
which the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation use to verify
criminal history records. Further information about fingerprinting, including how to schedule an
appointment, can be found at: www.ble.texas.gov/fingerprint-information
Instructions and checklists: ble.texas.gov/browseapplication.action?id=100
FAQ: ble.texas.gov/faq.action#167

Character and Fitness

One criterion for admission to any state’s bar is being a person of good moral character and fitness. The various boards of law examiners want to prevent from practicing law, persons with criminal records, a record of school discipline disciplinary or honor code violations, chemical dependency and related misconduct, dishonest behavior, and significant debt and other financial irresponsibility, among other issues. The Texas Board of Law Examiners will ask a series of questions designed to verify a person’s character and fitness, and investigate such matters to protect the justice system, potential clients, and to prevent a violation of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. It is essential that prospective attorneys complete these questions truthfully.For any questions you may have about the character and fitness process, please refer to the Admissions department. For any questions you may have about the character and fitness process, please refer to the Admissions department.

Relevant information: ble.texas.gov/character-and-fitness
Guidelines: ble.texas.gov/guidelines-for-determining-c&f-and-overseeing-pls
Detailed FAQ composed by the University of Houston Law Center: www.law.uh.edu/admissions/apply-now-character-and-fitness.asp
All states’ character and fitness criteria: reports.ncbex.org/comp-guide/charts/chart-2/

About the Uniform Bar Exam

Texas administers the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). The UBE is composed of the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), and two Multistate Performance Test (MPT) tasks.

The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), consisting of 200 questions, covers the following areas:

  • Federal civil procedure
  • Constitutional law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal law
  • Criminal procedure
  • Evidence
  • Real property
  • Torts.

The Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), composed of six essays, can cover any of the following topics:

  • Business associations
  • Federal civil procedure
  • Conflict of laws
  • Constitutional law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal law
  • Criminal procedure
  • Evidence
  • Family law
  • Real property
  • Secured transactions
  • Torts
  • Trusts and estates.

The multistate performance test (MPT) challenges a young lawyer’s fundamental lawyering skills, like drafting a legal memorandum, in the context of two realistic scenarios. Each MPT includes a ‘File’ and a ‘Library.’ The File contains all information (relevant or irrelevant) regarding a case. The Library contains statutes, regulations, and cases that may or may not be relevant to the case. Further information about the MPT can be found here: www.ncbex.org/exams/mpt/preparing/

The UBE test schedule is as follows:



 Day 1

 Day 2

 Morning Session

 2 MPTs (3 hours)

 MBE 1-100 (3 hours)

 Lunch Break

 12:30-1:30 Approx. 12:30-1:30

 12:30-1:30 Approx. 12:30-1:30

 Afternoon Session

 6 Multistate Essays (3 hours)

 MBE 101-200 (3 hours

Texas Bar Examination Filing Deadlines: ble.texas.gov/deadlines General instructions: ble.texas.gov/bar-exam-general-instructions
Register for the UBE: ble.texas.gov/information-and-applications
Thorough overview of the UBE test, created by South Texas College of Law: pathways.stcl.edu/texas-bar- examination/subject-overview/

FAQ: ble.texas.gov/faq.action#703

Studying for the UBE

The library provides bar study materials in the reserve section, located behind the circulation desk. The reserve collection includes study books for all portions of the UBE—the MPT, MEE, and the MBE— and for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. These books can be checked out for two hours and cannot leave the library.
Students may find guided instruction, through a bar review course, to be extremely helpful. Students have several options for a commercial bar review class, including:

  • Barbri
  • Kaplan
  • Kaplan PMBR
  • Reed
  • Themis


Complete list of UBE study courses: ble.texas.gov/faq.action#148

Other Considerations to Practice in Texas

Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. In addition to passing the Uniform Bar Exam, all students must take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) and receive a minimum score of 85. The test is offered in March, August, and November. It is an examination with 60 multiple-choice questions to be completed in two hours. The test is designed to measure a future lawyer’s understanding of lawyers’ standards of professional conduct.


Preparing for the MPRE: www.ncbex.org/exams/mpre/preparing/

Registration information: www.ncbex.org/exams/mpre/registration/

Test day policies: www.ncbex.org/exams/mpre/test-day-policies/ FAQ: ble.texas.gov/faq.action#149

Texas Law Component. Before a lawyer can be licensed to practice in Texas, they must take the “Texas Law Component” (TLC). The TLC is satisfied through Texas Law Course, composed of video presentations on Texas law. Each segment is followed by questions which applicants must answer correctly to proceed. The total time for taking the course is considered to be between 10 and 12 hours.


Instructions for registration: ble.texas.gov/getpdfform.action?id=2203

Register for the course: www.texasbarcle.com/CLE/AABuy0.asp?sProductType=EV&lID=18059

FAQ: ble.texas.gov/faq.action#783


Back to Top of the Page


Thurgood Marshall School of Law Thurgood Marshall School of Law Libray on Twitter
Center for Legal Pedagogy at Thurgood Marshall School of Law Thurgood Marshall School of Law on YouTube TMSL Library-Facebook

© 2016 Thurgood Marshall School of Law. All Rights Reserved.
3100 Cleburne Street, Houston, TX 77004 Ph: 713.313.4455  Fax: 713.313.1049