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Initial Deadline for February 2020 Applications: Dec. 2, 2019

The Initial Deadline for applications for the February 2020 Uniform Bar Examination in Tennessee is Monday, December 2, 2019, since the actual deadline falls on a Sunday. In order to meet the Initial Deadline, you must complete Steps 1 – 4 of the Tennessee First-Time or Re-Examination Application process and pay the Tennessee application fee* on or before the December 2, 2019, deadline in order to meet the Initial Deadline and receive notice at least once from the Board regarding non-compliant or missing items. The Final Deadline by which time all application documents must be submitted and the NCBE investigation initiated is December 20, 2019.

Online payment of the Tennessee application fee is accepted and you will be directed to that page upon completion of the Tennessee application. This is a separate application and a separate fee from that paid to the NCBE for the Character and Fitness (Background) Investigation. The Board will review online payments at 3:00 p.m., Central time, on the day of the Initial Deadline and the day of the Final Deadline, and will attempt to provide notice to anyone who has submitted a payment that is not successful; no notice will be given to those paying after 3:00 p.m. Payment by check, money order or cash is accepted at the Board office. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Central time.

Online payments that are unsuccessful will not meet the deadline requirements. For the Initial Deadline, if an unsuccessful payment is not remedied before the deadline, the Applicant will not receive notice of deficiencies. If a payment is unsuccessful and has not been remedied before expiration of the Final Deadline, the Applicant will not be eligible to sit for the examination.

July 2019 Administration of the Uniform Bar Examination in Tennessee Scores

Scores from the July 2019 administration of the UBE in Tennessee were released on October 4, 2019. There were 701 exam-takers for the July 2019 administration of the Uniform Bar Exam in Tennessee. Exam-takers must achieve a score of at least 270 to pass the examination in Tennessee.

The overall pass rate for Tennessee for the July 2019 exam was 70.9% for all exam-takers and 80% for first-time exam takers. This represents an increase over the July 2018 overall pass rate of 5.63 points and in the first-time pass rate of 3.15 points.

Exam-takers who graduated from a law school located in Tennessee had an overall pass rate of 75.5% while those who graduated from law schools located outside of Tennessee had a pass rate of 62.3%. Graduates of ABA-approved law schools had an overall pass rate of 73.5%

The national mean score on the MBE for July 2018 was 139.5 and for July 2019, 141.1, an increase of 1.6 points. A higher national mean often indicates a higher pass rate for states with scores at or above the national mean.

The Tennessee mean score on the MBE for July 2018 and July 2019 exceeded the national mean; in July 2018, the Tennessee mean score was 140.74 and in July 2019, the Tennessee mean was 143.35.

The following chart offers a comparison of the TN v. National MBE mean score:

Exam National Mean Tennessee Mean Difference TN v. Nat’l
Jul-18 139.5 140.74 1.24
Jul-19 141.1 143.35 2.25
Difference Annually 1.60 2.61 1.01

The list of successful bar exam-takers can be found on the Board of Law Examiners website here. Exam-takers will receive a letter from the Board with details regarding their scores and next steps in the admissions process.

Navigating our updated website

Welcome to the updated website for the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners. In the top bar of each page is the site index. The index includes the following links:

  • Admission by Examination Score – for applicants seeking admission by examination in Tennessee or transferred UBE score
  • Admission without Examination – for applicants seeking admission based on at least 5 years of practice, military spouse applicants, or as In House Counsel or Foreign Legal Consultant registrants
  • Governing Authorities – for all applicants, provides links to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 7, Board Policies and Procedure, Fee Schedules, and Law Student Practice (§ 10.03) forms
  • Tennessee Law Course – for all applicants, provides information about the mandatory course on Tennessee jurisprudence and related outlines
  • Licensing, Registration and Admissions Information – steps to take for all applicants upon approval by the Board for licensing.

Upon clicking the link for Admission by Examination Score or Admission without Examination in the Index, you will be taken to Directory Page with links for how to apply for each type of admission, practice pending admission or supervised practice information, as well as additional information regarding admission and application requirements.

The Directory Page for Admission by Examination score includes links to Governing Authorities, How to Apply for each type of application, as well as additional information regarding admission and application requirements, the examination, results, FAQs and forms.

The Directory Page for Admission without Examination score includes links to Governing Authorities, instructions for how to apply for each type of admission or registration, as well as additional information regarding admission and application requirements, FAQs and forms.

At the end of each page are quick links to the Index, directory pages and FAQs.

Applications for February 2020 Examination

Applications for first-time and re-examination applicants for the February 2020 Uniform Bar Examination administration in Tennessee will be available in Synergy beginning at 9:00 a.m., CDT, October 1, 2019. For information on how to apply and deadlines, click here. The February 2020 Uniform Bar Examination will be administered February 25 – 26, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee at the Municipal Auditorium.

Registration for Tennessee Law Course

The registration application for the mandatory TENNESSEE LAW COURSE (TLC) is now available for applicants who sat for the July 2019 UBE in Tennessee. The TLC is an online course on Tennessee-specific law (Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 7, § 1.07) that will take approximately 7.5 hours to complete. The course does not have to be done all at once, but it is recommended that you use the same device for the entire course. The course works best on a desktop or laptop. 

In order to be eligible for admission and licensing, applicants must complete the mandatory (TLC). To gain access to the TLC, login to your Synergy account ( and select the application titled REGISTRATION FOR TENNESSEE LAW COURSE. You will have an option to pay the TLC fee of $15 online as part of the registration process or you may mail a check or pay in person at the address above. Within 5 business days of completion of the registration and payment of the TLC fee, you will receive an email with LOGIN and PASSWORD access to the TLC.

For applicants who sat for the UBE in TN prior to July 2019 and have already registered for the TLC, you do not need to register again. Once completed the TLC is valid for one year.