July 2013 Texas Bar Exam Essays

Congratulations to everyone who passed the July Texas Bar Examination!

Results for the exam were posted Thursday, with the overall pass rate at about 70 percent and the pass rate for first-time exam takers about 78 percent, according to statistics posted on the Texas Board of Law Examiners website.

That’s compared to pass rates of 56 percent overall and 65 percent for first-timers in February 2016.

The University of Texas School of Law was the Texas law school with the highest first-time takers pass rate, followed by Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law and Baylor Law School.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all at the New Lawyers Induction Ceremony on November 21 at 10 a.m. at the Frank Erwin Center.

Go to the Texas Board of Law Examiners website for a full list of those who passed the bar and for a breakdown of statistics.

Check out our Storify documenting the celebration on social media after the results were posted.

Selected Answers


General Recommendations:

  • Carefully read the question and the “call of the question” (what the question asks you to do.)
  • Pay attention to the facts presented without assuming additional facts.
  • Include more than a mere conclusion when asked to explain the answer fully.
  • Respond to the “call of the question” (what the question asks you to do) and stay on track.
  • Practice writing in complete sentences and composing paragraphs.
  • Organize your responses, and answer subparts, if any, in the order asked.
  • Strive for clarity and good communication in writing.
  • Avoid lengthy or unnecessary discussion of general or extraneous matters.

Also, you are encouraged to read and be familiar with the Texas statutes, code provisions or rules pertaining to the Texas essay and procedure and evidence exam subjects. This is recommended regardless whether you have access to commercially-produced outlines or review materials.

Starting with the February 2009 exam, the Texas Board of Law Examiners began publishing selected examinee answers for essay questions 1 through 12 (in lieu of commenting on common problems or errors for these items). As of July 2011, selected examinee answers were also published for the MPT. These are made available only for the limited, personal use of Texas Bar Exam applicants. The publication of past exam questions and selected answers (or comments for the MPT and Civil and Criminal Procedure and Evidence exam segments) is not intended to indicate any specific legal issue or issues that will be tested on a future exam. Do not use them as a substitute for learning the subjects covered on the exam.

Overall, these selected essay and MPT answers help to demonstrate the general length and quality of responses that earned above average scores on the indicated administration of the essay portion of the bar examination. However, these are unrevised answers written by actual examinees under time constraints without access to law books. As such, these essays do not always correctly identify or respond to all issues raised by the question, and they may contain some extraneous or incorrect information. They do not, in all respects, accurately reflect Texas law or its application to the facts. These essays are not intended as “model answers” and should never be taken by anyone as legal advice.

The Texas Board of Law Examiners does not write the questions for the MPT and MBE. These are products of the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). Comments from NCBE’s former Director of Testing, Dr. Susan Case, about MBE preparation can be found here MBE Studying Advice. Also, the NCBE offers its own helpful information at its website, www.ncbex.org, for:

  • MBE scoring,
  • On-line practice exams and downloadable study materials,
  • Past MPT and MBE exam questions and answers, and
  • MPT grading guidelines.

Note: Although the NCBE has in the past made some study aids available without charge, it has also charged fees for its most recent past exams and its on-line practice exams.

The following Texas Bar Exam items are available for viewing only with Adobe Acrobat Reader. By clicking on the link for viewing or downloading any or all past Texas Bar Exam questions or selected essay or MPT answers (or comments on the Criminal or Civil Procedure and Evidence exams), you indicate that you have read the above information and you understand and agree that these are for Texas Bar Exam applicants’ personal use only and may not be redistributed or republished in any form, whether electronic, written or printed.

Please note that selected answers are not available for all questions below. If you open an answer and the PDF states "Not Available", there are no selected answers for that question.

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