Virginia Bar Exam

Virginia Bar Examiners

Virginia Board of Bar Examiners
2201 W. Broad Street, Suite 101
Richmond, VA 23220-2022
(804) 367-0412

Bar Exam Format

The Virginia bar exam has its essay portion on Tuesday and the multistate portion on Wednesday.  The board of bar examiners designs the short answer questions to be answered in a few words.

Day 1

The first day’s three-hour morning session will have five essay questions.  On average, each of them would take 36 minutes to answer. The first day’s 3-hour afternoon session will have 4 essay questions and a number (10 or 20) of short answer questions.  When answering 10 short-answer questions within 36 minutes, each of them would take 3.6 minutes.  When answering 20 short-answer questions within 36 minutes, each of them would take 1.8 minutes.

Day 2

The second day’s 3-hour morning session will have 100 MBE multiple choice questions.  The second day’s 3-hour afternoon session will have 100 more MBE questions.


An attorney having been admitted to practice law in another United States jurisdiction may apply for admission to practice law in Virginia without sitting for the Virginia bar exam if the other jurisdiction has reciprocity for Virginia lawyers.  One of the requirements for such admission on motion is that the attorney from the reciprocal jurisdiction has engaged in the full-time practice of law for at least three of the prior five years.


The essay portion of the Virginia bar exam has short-answer and essay questions that will examine these subjects:

  • Agency;
  • Business Organizations;
  • Conflict of Laws;
  • Constitutional Law;
  • Contracts;
  • Creditor’s Rights;
  • Criminal Law;
  • Domestic Relations;
  • Equity;
  • Evidence;
  • Federal Practice and Procedure;
  • Local Government Law;
  • Professional Responsibility;
  • Real and Personal Property;
  • Sales;
  • Taxation;
  • Torts;
  • Trusts;
  • Uniform Commercial Code;
  • Virginia Civil Procedure (including appellate practice);
  • Virginia Criminal Procedure (including appellate practice); and
  • Wills and Estate Administration.

Bar Exam Dates

The Virginia bar exam is held in February and July. The exam is usually on the last Wednesday and prior Tuesday of each month.


  • February 27-28, 2024
  • July 30-31, 2024

Exam Results

Commonly, the board of bar examiners grades the Virginia bar exam and releases its results nine weeks after administering the exam.  The board of bar examiners mails the results to the exam takers.  The board of bar examiners posts the names of the exam passers on their website.  The board of bar examiners will not provide any exam results information over the telephone.


To pass the Virginia bar exam, a taker has to score at least 140 on a 200-point scale.  The Virginia essay portion counts for 60%.  The Multistate Bar Exam (“MBE”) counts for 40%.

Pass Rate/Stats

Typically, the Virginia bar exam pass rates range from 49% to 76% for total takers, 58% to 81% for the first-time takers, and 31% to 53% for the repeat takers.