New York State Adopts the Uniform Bar Examination

uniform bar examOn April 30, 2015 the New York State Court of Appeals, which oversees legal education in the state, amended the rules of admission to the bar to adopt the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE).  The UBE is a uniform battery of tests that are administered simultaneously in all UBE jurisdictions.  It consists of the Multistate Bar Examination, the Multistate Performance Test and the Multistate Essay Examination.

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman gave notice to the bar on Tuesday, May 5th that New York State had adopted the Uniform Bar Examination.  New York becomes the sixteenth state to adopt the UBE, which is prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

New York will officially adopt the UBE in July 2016.  Those passing the exam will be able to apply for admission in any of the other states offering the UBE, thereby expanding their employment opportunities.  All of the other states currently offering the UBE are smaller than New York State.  Over 15,000 people took the bar exam in New York State in 2015.

The current UBE states are now:

  1. Alabama,
  2. Alaska
  3. Arizona
  4. Colorado
  5. Idaho
  6. Kansas
  7. Minnesota
  8. Missouri
  9. Montana
  10. Nebraska
  11. New Hampshire
  12. New York
  13. North Dakota
  14. Utah
  15. Washington
  16. Wyoming

An applicant for admission in New York must also take and complete an online course in New York-specific law, known as the New York Law Course (NYLC) and must take and pass an online examination, known as the New York Law Exam (NYLE).  It is anticipated that the NYLC and the NYLE will be available in Spring 2016.  Effective October 1, 2016, an applicant who sat for the UBE in another jurisdiction may transfer the score earned on that examination to New York in lieu of taking the UBE in New York.

For further details on the Uniform Bar Examination in New York State, see the following:

Court of Appeals Notice to the Bar

Board of Law Examiners UBE Informational Guide