South Dakota Bar Exam Information

South Dakota Bar Exam Information

South Dakota Board of Bar Examiners
500 E. Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
(605) 773-4898

South Dakota Bar Exam Info South Dakota Bar Exam dates South Dakota Bar Exam subjects

Subjects and Topics Tested

The South Dakota bar exam may test the following MBE and South Dakota Essay subjects:

MBE Subjects

  • Civil Procedure (Federal)
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts (including U.C.C. Art. 2 – Sales)
  • Criminal Law & Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence Law
  • Real Property
  • Torts

South Dakota Essay Subjects

  • Agency & Partnership
  • Business Associations
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Family Law
  • Federal Indian Law (including civil and criminal jurisdiction, Indian Child Welfare Act, Indian Civil Rights Act,  and Indian Gaming Regulatory Act)
  • Secured Transactions (U.C.C. Article 9)
  • Wills & Estates
  • Trusts and Future Interests

Application Filing Deadlines and Fees

July 2017 Exam
Filing Deadline: April 1

February 2018 Exam
Filing Deadline: November 1

Application Fees
Non-attorneys: $300
Attorneys: $300
Repeaters: $175

Laptop Fee: $100

Scoring and Grading

South Dakota requires exam takers to pass each portion of the exam separately to pass the overall exam. Passing requires a minimum score of 135 on the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), and an average of 75% or higher on the written portion. The written portion includes 5 Multistate Essay Exam questions, 1 Indian Law question, and 2 Multistate Performance Tests (MPT).

Bar Exam Dates

The South Dakota bar exam is administered twice per year – once in February and once in July.

Upcoming Exams

2017: July 25-26

2018: February 27-28 and July 24-25

Bar Exam Results

South Dakota bar exam results are typically released 12 weeks after the exam.

Bar Exam Format

The South Dakota bar exam is 2 days long and consists of the MBE, 5 MEE questions, 1 Indian Law questions, and 2 Multistate Performance Tests (MPT).

During the 3-hour morning session, 5 MEE questions, and 1 Indian Law question are administered. During the 3-hour afternoon session, 2 MPTs are administered.

100 MBE questions are administered in the 3-hour morning session, and 100 MBE questions are administered in the 3-hour afternoon session.


The South Dakota Bar allows admission on motion if the applicant meets all requirements for admission, including: (1) admitted to practice law in another jurisdiction; (2) practicing law for the last 5 years; and (3) graduated from an ABA approved law school.

Jurisdiction rules and policies change. Be sure to consult the jurisdiction’s bar admission agency directly for the most current info.


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