What Is The Illinois Essay Exam?
The Illinois Bar Exam has adopted most of the Uniform Bar Exam, but it still has a component it develops itself. So what, exactly, is the Illinois Essay Exam?
What Is The Illinois Essay Exam?
1. What is the Illinois Essay Exam?
Currently, Illinois uses most parts of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), without having adopted it wholesale. Like UBE jurisdictions, the Illinois Bar Exam has both the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT). These components are developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), and are on every UBE jurisdiction’s bar exam. Illinois uses these, along with the multiple choice Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) section, to structure most of its exam.
However, Illinois also chooses, like some other UBE jurisdictions, to include 3 essays developed by its own Board of Law Examiners. In most UBE jurisdictions, 2 MPTS appear on the exam. In Illinois, only one does. Instead of a second MPT, the Illinois Board of Law Examiners includes 3 Illinois specific essays. These comprise the Illinois Essay Exam (IEE).
2. How Is the Illinois Essay Exam different than the MEE?
The Illinois Essay Exam is a state-specific component of the Illinois bar exam. Unlike the MEE, the IEE questions test Illinois law. On your exam day, you will have 90 minutes to complete 3 Illinois law essays, and 180 minutes to cover 6 MEE essays. The structure and components of both types of essays are similar, but they cover different aspects of law.
3. What subjects can be covered by the Illinois Essay Exam?
Like the MEEs, the Illinois Essay Exam can cover any of the traditional MEE subjects. However, the IEE can also cover additional areas that do not appear on the MEE. These include:
- administrative law
- commercial paper
- equity jurisprudence
- state constitutional law
- federal taxation
- Illinois procedure
- personal property, including sales and bailments
Thus, the IEE cannot be taken lightly. It can cover subjects that are not part of traditional UBE preparation, so students need to prepare for them separately.
4. What is the Illinois Essay Exam worth?
The Illinois Essay Exam is worth 20% of your score.
The IEE when combined with the MEE and MPT, accounts for 50% over your overall score. The MBE accounts for the other 50%. Since the MPT is worthy 10% of your overall score, the IEE and MEE are worth 40% of your score. Illinois weights the IEE and MEE equally, so make sure you do not completely blow off studying for the Illinois specific essays, as they are worth about 20% of your overall score!
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