NextGen Bar Exam of the Future empty asphalt highway and blue sea nature landscape at sunset

The National Conference of Bar Examiners is preparing to launch a new bar exam designed to test the knowledge and skills needed by new attorneys entering practice today.  The NexGen bar exam, set for first administration in July 2026, will test an expanded set of essential lawyering skills alongside a more focused range of legal topics.

Following multiple rounds of research conducted with the participation of law students and recent graduates from law schools across the US, NCBE is partnering with jurisdiction bar admission agencies to conduct a national prototype exam in preparation for the launch of the NextGen bar exam.

NCBE invites July 2024 bar examinees to participate in this paid study, which will be held across the US in October 2024. The participant application period opens August 19.

Please feel free to bookmark this page and check back for updates in mid-August.

About the Prototype Exam

The prototype exam is a full-length pretest of the NextGen bar exam. Held over two days in October 2024, the prototype exam will generate essential data to inform each jurisdiction’s decision about the passing score it will require for admission. The exam will take nine hours, with six hours of exam time on day one (a Friday) and three hours on day two (a Saturday). Alternative testing arrangements will be available for participants who received accommodations on the July 2024 bar exam, including extended-time schedules for participants who received extended-time accommodations on the July 2024 exam.

Participant Stipend

To acknowledge the time and effort of those who participate, NCBE is offering a stipend of $1,500 for participation in the prototype exam.

Participant Requirements and Sign-Up Timeline

In order to participate in the prototype exam:

  • You must have completed a July 2024 bar exam that included the Multistate Bar Examination (this includes the bar exams of all US jurisdictions except Louisiana and Puerto Rico).
  • You may not be an employee or volunteer for any law school (including staff and lecturers), nor may you be affiliated in any way with any bar prep company, including as an employee or volunteer, during the period from August to October 2024. Former bar prep student representatives may participate.
  • You must complete an online prototype exam recruitment form between the dates of August 19 and August 29; accepted participants will be notified by email in September 2024. If you are selected to participate, you will need to take additional steps to complete your sign-up.
  • You must be able to participate in person for all days of the prototype exam at one of the designated exam locations. Details regarding the dates and locations will be shared on this page in August.

Participation is open to first-time and repeat July 2024 bar exam takers, regardless of whether they pass the July 2024 exam. NCBE seeks to include a broad range of participants from across the US, and you may request to take the prototype exam in any participating jurisdiction – you do not need to take it in the jurisdiction where you took the bar exam or went to law school.

Additional information, including a link to the online recruitment form, will be sent via email by NCBE and participating jurisdictions in August 2024.

Visit the NextGen bar exam page on the NCBE website to learn more about the exam and review NextGen sample questions and subject-matter outlines.

Please note that prototype exam locations are not linked to whether a jurisdiction has announced whether or when it will administer the NextGen bar exam. For a list of jurisdictions that have announced plans to adopt the new exam, visit https://www.ncbex.org/exams/nextgen.