Wyoming Bar Exam

Written by: Nik Ventouris

Last updated:

Passing the Wyoming bar exam is an essential part of being admitted into the state’s bar and beginning a successful career practicing law.

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to get started, including:

  • The bar exam’s eligibility criteria, content, and structure
  • The steps you can take in order to give yourself the best chance of passing on your first attempt
  • The additional requirements you’ll need to satisfy in order to become admitted into the state’s bar

We’ll also briefly look at the process of getting admitted as an out-of-state attorney.

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Wyoming Bar Exam Overview

Under the Wyoming Supreme Court’s authority, the Board of Law Examiners administers the bar exam, with applicant background investigations carried out by its Character and Fitness Committee.

Both the Committee and the Board collaborate closely to ensure the regulation of admission to the practice of law in the state is thorough and upholds the high standards expected for legal practitioners.

The exam occurs twice a year, on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. Applicants must register by April 15 for the July exam and by November 15 for the February exam. The process involves a non-refundable application fee of $600, which is payable to the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Wyoming strictly enforces its registration deadlines for the bar exam, requiring that the clerk of the Wyoming Supreme Court receive all applications by the designated deadline. Applications arriving after this deadline will be returned to the sender regardless of their postmark date.

In order to be eligible for the Wyoming bar exam, you’ll need to satisfy the following criteria per the Rules and Procedures Governing Admission to the Practice of Law as set forth by the Wyoming Supreme Court:

  1. Educational Requirement: According to Rule 202, the Board requires applicants to have been awarded a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). To prove you earned this degree, you must have a Dean’s Certificate that confirms your graduation sent directly from your law school to the Wyoming State Bar.
  2. Good Standing: Applicants who are — or have been — admitted in other jurisdictions must provide a Certificate of Good Standing from the highest court of every state, commonwealth, territory, or the District of Columbia where they are — or have been — licensed. These certificates should be recent, issued within 90 days prior to the application submission, to validate the applicant’s professional conduct and status.

Note: Remember that the Dean’s Certificate must be issued by the law school post-graduation in order to ensure the authenticity and verification of your academic credentials.

Wyoming Exam Structure

In 2013, the state of Wyoming adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), which adheres to the following structure:

Day 1:

  • Multistate Performance Test (MPT): Two 90-minute Multistate Performance Test Questions (20%)
  • Multistate Essay Examination (MEE): Six 30-minute Multistate Essay Exam questions (30%)

Day 2:

  • Multistate Bar Examination (MBE): 200-question multiple-choice exam (50%)

The UBE exam is scored out of 400 points, 270 of which need to be answered correctly in order for a candidate to receive a passing mark.

Moreover, candidates must achieve a scaled score of 85 or higher on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) in order to be eligible for the Wyoming bar.

Below, we’ve broken down the content and structure of each exam-related requirement in more detail.

Multistate Performance Test (MPT)

The MPT is made up of two 90-minute parts, and the materials for each part contain a “File” and a “Library.”

The File consists of source documents that contain all of the facts of a specific case.

As the examinee, the assignment that you will need to complete will be described in a memorandum from a supervising attorney.

The File can also include things like transcripts of interviews, depositions, pleadings, trials, client documents, newspaper articles, police reports, and any other similar documents.

Keep in mind that irrelevant information is generally included, and facts are sometimes incomplete, ambiguous, or even conflicting.

This is meant to mirror legal practice, in which a client’s or supervising attorney’s version of events may be unreliable or entirely incomplete. In such a scenario, you will be expected to recognize when facts are inconsistent or missing in the exam and identify sources of additional facts.

The Library part contains things like cases, statutes, and regulations, some of which may also not be relevant to the task that you will be assigned. You will need to be able to extract the legal principles required to analyze the legal problem you’ll be presented with and perform the requested task.

For more information, you can have a look at the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ Instructions for Taking the MPT document.

Free summaries of MPTs from recent examinations are also offered (e.g., MPT Summaries of 2023).

Multistate Essay Exam (MEE)

The MEE consists of six 30-minute sections that can cover a variety of legal areas, including:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Business Associations (e.g., Agency and Partnership, LLCs, Corporations, etc.)
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contract Law
  • Family Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Torts
  • Trust and Estates

Keep in mind that questions can often include issues in more than one area of law. This means that it’ll be important to ensure that you have a “wide” range of understanding rather than a deep focus on one or two subjects.

Note: For more information, have a look at the NCBE’s official Instructions for Taking the MEE document or check out a few official MEE questions.

Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)

The MBE is made up of 200 multiple-choice questions, which are broken down into 175 scored questions and 25 unscored questions.

The exam is broken down into two three-hour sections, with one administered in the morning and one in the afternoon, both of which contain 100 questions each.

Keep in mind that there are no scheduled breaks during either one of the sections.

All 175 scored questions on the exam are distributed evenly, with 25 questions being attributed to each of the following seven topics:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Civil Procedure
  • Contract Law
  • Real Property
  • Tort Law
  • Evidence
  • Criminal Law and Procedure

Each question on the MBE exam will have four potential answers. You should choose what you believe is the best answer — keep in mind that scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly, and points are not subtracted for answering incorrectly.

If you want to have a look at the exact format, you can have a look at the NCBE’s official MBE Sample Test Questions document.

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Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)

The MPRE is made up of 60 multiple-choice questions (50 scored questions and 10 unscored questions) and is administered via Pearson VUE.

Like the MBE exam, each question offers four possible answers, one of which is correct.

The exam’s content is based on law that relates to the conduct and discipline of attorneys and judges and includes the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Model Code of Judicial Conduct, as well as important constitutional common law and generally accepted principles.

In relation to questions of professional responsibility in the context of evidentiary issues (e.g., litigation sanctions, attorney-client evidentiary privilege, etc.), the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence will apply unless otherwise stated.

Note: You will have two hours to complete the MPRE exam in its entirety.

For more information, we recommend having a look at the NCBE’s Official Sample Test Questions document. A holistic Subject Matter Outline is also offered.

How to Pass the Wyoming Bar Exam

In order to give yourself the best chance of passing the Wyoming UBE on your first attempt, it’s important to take enough time to make sure you’re adequately prepared.

Wyoming Bar Exam Tips

Despite the infamous difficulty of Wyoming’s bar exam, passing it on your first attempt is definitely possible with the right tools and preparation techniques.

Here are a few key tips that should aid you in your licensing journey:

  • Start strong in your first year. This is important due to the fundamental areas of law practice that the first year of law school generally covers, such as contract, tort, and constitutional law
  • Leverage academic support. If your law school offers additional support services aimed at improving your preparation, use these as much as possible. This can involve one-on-one tutoring, academic counseling, and mock exam programs
  • Obtain practical legal experience. If possible, gain as much practical experience as you can during law school (e.g., through summer internships, mock trials, etc.). This experience can go a long way in cementing your legal knowledge
  • Adopt a broad study approach. When studying for the bar, aim for a wide-ranging understanding of various subjects rather than an in-depth study of a few. This is important given the huge amount of content you’ll need to learn for this test

Most importantly, make sure you remain consistent so you don’t have to resort to last-minute cramming.

Research has shown that we are able to retain a higher degree of information – and more easily – when revisiting old content in comparison to when learning it for the first time. This is known as Ebbinghaus’s Forgetting Curve.

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Other Wyoming Bar Requirements

Apart from qualifying for and passing the Wyoming bar exam, you’ll need to meet several other requirements in order to become a licensed attorney in the state. These include:

  1. Passing the Character and Fitness Evaluation
  2. Satisfying the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Requirements

1. Passing the Character and Fitness Evaluation

After passing the Wyoming bar exam, applicants must undertake a character and fitness evaluation which is overseen by the Character and Fitness Committee.

This evaluation examines both the past and present aspects of an applicant’s life, scrutinizing their professional, financial, and academic behavior in order to affirm their compatibility with the ethical standards upheld within the legal profession.

Keep in mind that transparency is paramount, and applicants are encouraged to fully disclose any past misdeeds. This is because the Committee firmly believes that the essence of the character and fitness evaluation lies in assessing each applicant’s present moral and professional standing.

Should the need arise, the evaluation process might include further inquiries, hearings, or interviews, which are designed to gauge an applicant’s genuineness, self-perception, and concrete actions undertaken for self-improvement.

This meticulous approach is meant to ensure that those entering the legal profession in Wyoming not only have the required legal knowledge and skills, but also possess integrity and are ready to uphold the profession’s esteemed ethical standards.

2. Satisfying the CLE Requirements

After gaining admission to the bar, attorneys in Wyoming must comply with specific CLE requirements as delineated by Rule 4 of the Wyoming Court Rules. These obligations include completing a minimum of 15 CLE hours annually with at least two of those hours dedicated to legal ethics.

Newly admitted attorneys need to start fulfilling these requirements in the year following their bar admission.

Attorneys who complete any CLE hours beyond the annual minimum can carry them forward for two years, including ethics credits. Furthermore, attorneys who contribute as lecturers in CLE activities will earn three CLE hours for every hour of presentation. Having said that, keep in mind that repeating a lecture within the same year without substantial changes will not earn you additional credits.

The Wyoming State Bar is responsible for tracking each attorney’s CLE credits and will notify them of their annual compliance status. Should an attorney fail to meet these requirements by the end of the calendar year, they’ll incur a delinquency fee of $300. They’ll then have until March 1 of the following year to adBress any deficiencies and pay the delinquency fee to avoid suspension.

Note: For more details regarding CLE requirements in Wyoming, see this document from the Wyoming Board of Continuing Legal Education.

Admission on Motion (Reciprocity)

Wyoming allows qualified attorneys from other jurisdictions to gain admission to the bar without taking the bar exam through a process known as admission on motion.

To qualify for admission on motion, attorneys must meet the general prerequisites of admission (discussed above), as well as the following criteria:

  • Have actively practiced law for at least 300 hours per year for five of the last seven years
  • Be an active member in good standing of the bar in a UBE jurisdiction or jurisdictions that offer reciprocal admission to Wyoming-licensed attorneys
  • Provide certificates of admission and good standing from all jurisdictions in which they’re licensed
  • Show evidence of compliance with CLE requirements in those jurisdictions

Note: Wyoming doesn’t have a formal reciprocity agreement with any state, meaning that it considers each application on an individual basis.

For more detailed information, interested attorneys should visit the Admission on Motion FAQ page on the Wyoming State Bar website.

Wyoming Bar Exam FAQ

Can you take the bar without going to law school in Wyoming?

No, applicants must have earned a JD degree from an ABA-accredited law school to be eligible for the Wyoming bar exam (which is necessary to practice law in the state). For more bar exam information, check out our What is the Bar Exam article.

How long is the Wyoming bar exam?

The Wyoming bar exam is conducted over two days. The first day covers the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE). The second day focuses on the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE).

How hard is it to pass the Wyoming state bar examination?

Passing the Wyoming bar exam can be challenging, but it’s achievable with the right preparation. Success requires a broad understanding of legal topics, such as “secured transactions,” which will help you secure high MBE scores.

How much does the Wyoming bar exam cost?

The non-refundable Wyoming bar exam application fee is $600, which is payable to the Wyoming Supreme Court. If an applicant needs to postpone their exam after signing up, the rules permit registration for two examinations without incurring additional application fees.