Michigan bar exam: grading changed, fees increased

Beginning with the February 2009 Michigan bar exam, you won’t be able to pass on the strength of a red-hot Multistate Bar Examination score alone.

Graders hired by the Board of Law Examiners will read your bluebook essay answers no matter how well you did on the multiple choice portion of the exam.

Why the change? According to the BLE’s policy statement:

“In order to assure consistency in the level of difficulty of Michigan bar examination essay questions from one examination to another, and thereby to more accurately assess whether applicants have attained the level of competence in the law necessary for the protection of the public, the Board of Law Examiners has determined to scale the essay examination scores to the scoring of the Multistate Bar Examination. To do this, the Board has determined that it is necessary to eliminate the practice of not grading the essay answers of applicants obtaining a threshold score on the MBE.”

More bluebooks to read means more work for the graders and a modest hike in the bar examination fee to cover those costs. First-time takers will pay $340. Re-examinations will cost $240.

The fee increases are the result of the Michigan Supreme Court’s amendment of Rule 6 of the Rules for the Board of Law Examiners.

The BLE’s policy statement on the grading change is available here.

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