65 South Front Street, 5th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3431
Phone: 614-387-9340 or 9350 (Admissions #)
Business Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Director of Bar Admissions: Lee Ann Ward
The Ohio Supreme Court web site contains most of the forms and information needed about being admitted to the bar in Ohio. The site also contains past essay questions dating back to 1998 and the outline of subjects tested on the essay portion of the exam. See especially:
- Rules for admission to the bar - set out in Rule 1 of the Rules for the Government of the Bar.
- Application to Register as a Candidate for Admission / Character & Fitness Application
- Application to Take the Bar Exam
- Fee Schedules
- Important Dates
- Sample Essay Questions
- Bar Results
The National Conference of Bar Examiners is the organization that develops and administers the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) (the multiple-choice part), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). They are also responsible for conducting the initial character and fitness checks.
Sample MBE, MPT and MPRE questions and answers may be purchased from the NCBE at its web site. For sample questions available in the Law Library collection, see Library Resources - Bar Exam.
Dates: The Ohio bar exam is offered twice a year, in February and July. The anchor date is the last Wednesday of the month. It is a three day test that begins on Tuesday and goes through Wednesday to Thursday at 12:00 noon. The test dates are as follows:
23, 24, and 25
July 28, 29, 30
Prior to the Exam
Final character and fitness approval must be completed 3 weeks before exam. If you have not completed your final character and fitness interview by mid-January for the February exam and mid-June for the July exam, call the Office of Bar Admission.
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law will provide the Ohio Supreme Court with a certificate confirming your J.D. degree & 1 hour instruction on substance abuse (provided that you have successfully completed your degree and attended the substance abuse session).
Prior to the examination, the Supreme Court will send out instructions and your application number. This number is used on all of your examinations. Do not put your name on your examinations. Your exam number is also your seat assignment in the examination hall.
Location and times: The Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215.
Doors open at 8:00 a.m.
Instruction prep at 8:45 a.m.
Testing begins at 9:00 a.m. each day – be early
Tuesday and Wednesday:
Lunch Break 12:15 or 12:30 for 1 hour.
Lunch Break - You can bring your own lunch or buy lunch at the hall. Note that there are about 1200 takers in July, therefore long lines for lunch.
Exam concludes at 4:30 p.m.
Thursday exam concludes at 12:15 p.m.
- Seating in the examination hall is by your exam number, low #s in the front of hall, high #s at the rear.
- Proctors and administrative staff wear badges.
- Smoking is prohibited in the hall and you cannot leave the hall during the exam.
- No food or drinks allowed during the exam – exception - water in a clear bottle.
- Hall could be chilly – bring a sweater, dress in layers.
- Carefully review pretest instructions sent by the Court
Fill out information card
Bring photo identification
Finger print check of index finger
Tuesday morning – Two MPT questions
Tuesday afternoon – Ohio Essay questions (6 questions)
Wednesday morning – MBE (100 questions)
Wednesday afternoon – MBE (100 questions)
Thursday Morning – Ohio Essay questions (6 questions)
1. Don't waste time on irrelevant background. Get to the question.
2. Pay attention to the call of the question (usually at the end).
3. Do not assume graders use gimmicks. You don't need to underline or highlight key words.
4. Organize your answer. Outline - use logical progression.
5. Do not make assumptions without stating them, especially whether Ohio or federal law applies.
6. Do not address issues that you are told not to address. Follow directions.
7. Analysis is more important than the bottom line.
Sample Essay Questions from Ohio Supreme Court's web site.
Outline of Tested Subjects from Ohio Supreme Court's web site .
1. Pay attention to the task you are asked to perform. Do what you are asked to do. Follow directions.
2. Take advantage of style of form memo.
3. Outline your answer before you write.
4. Write clearly and succinctly.
5. Citations - don't worry about correct Bluebook format.
6. Take at least one practice MPT test per week while studying for the bar.
Raw score = correct answers.
Scaled scores are used to equate the MBE score to the essays score.
Written exam = Essay & MPT, Graded by Ohio Bar Examiners and Readers, Scored on a scale of 1-7, 12 essays = 84 (2 MPT x 1.5 = 21) = Total = 105 (Written score is scaled to Ohio MBE mean and standard deviation for that test).
Total Score = 2 x written scaled score and MBE score.
405 needed to pass.