What is the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE)?
What is the Multistate Essay Exam? If you plan to take the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), then you might already know that one of its three components is the Multistate Essay Exam. Also, some non-UBE states administer the Multistate Essay Exam. Here, we give you a brief overview of the MEE format, the subjects it tests, and some of our best tips about how to ace the Multistate Essay Exam.
What is the Multistate Essay Exam?
Below, we cover a few of the most commonly asked questions about the Multistate Essay Exam, including which states administer it, how it is formatted, and how to best prepare for it.
Which states administer the Multistate Essay Exam?
The above map is from the NCBE’s website and shows which states administer the MEE. Please refer to the NCBE’s website for the most up-to-date list of states. Read more about which states administer the MEE here.
What is the format of the Multistate Essay Exam?
The Multistate Essay Exam consists of six questions. You are given three hours to answer the questions, which means you should allocate about 30 minutes per question to finish the exam on time. If you are in a UBE jurisdiction, the MEE is worth 30% of your score. The Multistate Essay Exam tests several subjects, listed below.
The Multistate Essay Exam is meant to test an examinee’s ability to:
- (1) identify legal issues raised by a hypothetical factual situation;
- (2) separate the relevant from the non-relevant material;
- (3) present a reasoned analysis of the relevant issues in a clear, concise, and well-organized composition; and
- (4) demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental legal principles relevant to the probable solution of the issues raised by the facts.
Each essay question on the MEE will contain a fact pattern (usually about a page in length, sometimes a little more and sometimes less) where you will have to spot the legal issues, state the applicable rule(s), apply the law to the facts, and then arrive at a conclusion for each issue. In other words, you want to use “IRAC” when writing a Multistate Essay Exam answer.
What subjects are tested on the Multistate Essay Exam?
The Multistate Essay Exam tests a wide range of subjects. It tests all the subjects you need to know for the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) and several additional areas of law. The tested subjects include:
- Business Associations (Agency and Partnership; Corporations and Limited Liability Companies)
- Conflict of Laws (this is not tested on its own but will be combined with another subject)
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law and Procedure
- Family Law
- Federal Civil Procedure
- Real Property
- Trusts and Estates
- Uniform Commercial Code
Are subjects ever tested together on the Multistate Essay Exam?
Most of the time, only one subject is tested per question. However, occasionally, subjects are tested together. For example, Conflict of Laws will not appear as a standalone subject—it is always tested with another subject (usually Federal Civil Procedure or Family Law). Criminal Law and Evidence have been tested together recently. And, Torts and Agency sometimes are tested together. Be on the lookout for some of these common “crossover” questions.
Do I apply state law to a Multistate Essay Exam question?
If you are in a UBE jurisdiction, the answer is no! So, for example, if you are taking the New York Bar Exam, you will apply general principles of law (i.e., majority law). You will not apply state-specific law.
If you are in a MEE jurisdiction but your state does not administer the UBE, check to make sure the Examiners want you to apply majority law. Most states will not test state distinctions if it administers the MEE, but you want to double check!
Do you have Multistate Essay Exam study tips?
Yes! Some of our tips are:
- Focus on the highly tested Multistate Essay Exam subjects and topics. We’ve got a very detailed blog post that goes over the most highly tested MEE topics here. We also outline Multistate Essay Exam subjects by year in this post dating back to the February 2011 Multistate Essay Exam.
- Learn how to structure your Multistate Essay Exam answer. We talk about how to do that in this blog post.
- Learn how to self-grade your practice essays. Self-grading forces you to not only recognize your mistakes, but also to take the time to actually fix them. When you actually take the time to think through why you made a particular mistake and then fix it, you’re less likely to make that same mistake again. If you’d like more information on how to self-grade a Multistate Essay Exam answer, check out this blog post.
Go to the next topic, Topic 2: How to Structure a MEE Answer.
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