Format & Overview of the MEE

What You’ll Learn:

  • The MEE Format – number of questions; time per essay question
  • Purpose of the MEE – what skills are tested
  • The MEE’s Scope of Coverage – what subjects and topics are tested
  • A breakdown of the 15 Subjects Tested on the MEE
  • The Total Weight of an MEE Score – the percentage it counts toward your total bar exam score

MEE Test Format

The MEE consists of six 30-minute essay questions in a 3-hour session.

We say 30-minutes because you have 3 hours to answer all six questions (although the individual questions are not timed). You MUST practice answering each question within the 30-minute period. Otherwise, you will not have time to finish all the essays.

The MEE is given on the written test day of the bar exam (usually the first day of the exam).

Purpose of the MEE – What is it Testing?

The purpose of the MEE is to demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively in writing, which is the primary distinction between the MEE and MBE. This means showing an understanding of the law, how to apply it to the facts of a problem, and showing the reasoning on how you arrived at your conclusions.

According to the NCBE (the drafters of the exam), the MEE tests the following skills:

  • Identify legal issues raised by a hypothetical factual situation;
  • Separate material which is relevant from that which is not;
  • Present a reasoned analysis of the relevant issues in a clear, concise, and well-organized composition; and
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental legal principles relevant to the probable solution of the issues raised by the factual situation.

MEE Scope – The Official MEE Subject Matter Outline

The MEE Subject Matter Outline presents the MEE’s scope of coverage, and is prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (“NCBE”).

The 2020 MEE Subject Matter Outline can be found here or here.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with this document. It outlines the scope of topics tested for each Subject Area.

Subjects Tested on the MEE

There are 15 Subjects Tested on the MEE:

  1. Agency
  2. Partnerships
  3. Corporations & Limited Liability Companies
  4. Civil Procedure
  5. Conflict of Laws
  6. Constitutional Law
  7. Contracts (including UCC Article 2)
  8. Criminal Law & Procedure
  9. Evidence
  10. Family Law
  11. Real Property
  12. Secured Transactions (UCC Article 9)
  13. Torts
  14. Trusts & Future Interests
  15. Wills & Estates

Any combination of the subjects above may be tested on the MEE (it varies from exam to exam). Some questions may contain more than one area of law.

Items of Note:

  • Negotiable Instruments/Commercial Paper (UCC Articles 3 & 4) was removed from the MEE as of the February 2015 exam. Thus, ignore these questions in older MEE Questions & Analyses released by the bar examiners.
  • Conflict of Laws issues are embedded in essays with other MEE topic areas. They never appear as stand-alone essay questions, and will ALWAYS be in combination with another subject area.
  • Agency, Partnerships, and Corporations & LLC’s are listed as one subject in the MEE Subject Matter Outline as Business Associations. We have listed them separately since examinees usually study these subjects individually.
  • Trusts and Estates are listed as one subject in the MEE Subject Matter Outline. We have listed them separately since examinees usually study these subjects individually.

Total Weight of MEE Score

The MEE is worth 30% of your total exam score in most states – including all UBE jurisdictions, such as New York and New Jersey.

In other jurisdictions, the MEE/essays is normally worth between 30% and 45%. Some jurisdictions have additional state essays and/or have a minimum passing score for the MEE/essay portion.

In Chapter 8 of this guide on Grading & Scoring, we have included a chart showing how much the MEE is worth in each jurisdiction.